In Concert:
Community Music Groups Working Together

A Newsletter of Southwestern Pennsylvania Band Partners

Winter 2008
Volume 4 Issue 1 
Printable Version in PDF Format

Inside This Issue: 
 Butler County Symphony OrchestraBand Directory Additions | Band Birthdays | 501c3 Status
New Music Corner | Association of Concert Bands | Combined Concert Calendar | Announcements | Band Web sites | Contact US

Butler County Symphony Orchestra
Information from the following web sites:
Permission to use granted by: Harry Savisky

The Butler Orchestral Association was established in 1949, with the first board of directors meeting on December 15. The organization was cosponsored by the Butler Tuesday Musical Club, the Butler Board of Recreation and the Butler Musical Society. I.M. Jaffe was elected the first president.

To enlist community interest and financial support, the association held an invitation rehearsal on February 5, 1950. About 200 people attended. Pittsburgh musicians joined the group to provide balanced instrumentation.

The premier concert was held on April 17, 1950, with Edward Roncone as the first conductor. This was also the opening concert of Butler County's Sesquicentennial celebration. The concert was greeted with enthusiasm.

The name of the organization was later changed to the Butler County Symphony Association. In each season, the Association sponsors six concerts, one of which is a Family Concert geared to all ages. The orchestra has gained in stature over the years and is now considered one of the finest community orchestras in the western Pennsylvania area.

Today, the Butler County Symphony Association provides a quality orchestra within a community framework, generating pride among Butler County residents while enriching their cultural lives.

The six concerts per season showcase music chosen from all periods with seasonal favorites at the holiday concert. Each concert features a vocal or instrumental solo performance.

The Association is governed by a fifty-member all volunteer board of directors. Officers are: President: William Lehnerd, Vice-president: Gary Kleemann, Secretary: Joanne Glasgow, Treasurer: James Weed.

In addition to overseeing the orchestra in providing quality music choices from all periods, the Association brings educational programs to school students, has an annual Young Artist Competition, and recognizes special students active in their school music programs. The Association also provides an outlet with the orchestra for solo performances of many local talented musicians, in addition to allowing gifted students to rehearse and gain experience playing with professionals.

Elisabeth Heath-Charles joined the Butler County Symphony Orchestra as Musical Director and Conductor in 1997. She received her Bachelor of Music Education from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and earned a Master of Music from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, concentrating in
conducting and music education.

In addition to her post with the Butler County Symphony, Mrs. Heath-Charles is a member of the music education faculty at the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University and is the Director of Athletic Bands. Previously, Mrs. Heath-Charles was the Music Director and Conductor of the OVations (Ohio Valley) Youth Orchestra in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Her guest conducting engagements include the University of Northern Colorado’s Weekend for Strings, the Three Rivers Youth Orchestras, the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony, the Westmoreland Youth Symphony, the McKeesport Symphony, and the Pittsburgh Civic Symphony. Active as a clinician
and music educator, Mrs. Heath-Charles has conducted many band and orchestra festivals sponsored by the Music Education Associations of Pennsylvania and North Carolina. For five years, Mrs. Heath-Charles was the Musical Director for CaIRep, an eight week, pre-professional musical theatre repertory company in residence at the California University of Pennsylvania.

Upcoming Concerts (See for more information)
February 16, 2008: Spotlight on Joe Negri Trio.
March 15, 2008: Spotlight on a Rising Star.
May 3, 2008: Spotlight on Sax-y Music.

Southwestern PA Community Bands (As of December 25, 2007)
There are no updates from the last issue.  If you are aware of community bands in the region that are not yet in the online directory please let them know about us.  We currently have 23 groups listed in our directory from the Southwestern Pennsylvania region.

send email to

Band Birthdays in 2008

501(c)(3) Status - Application/Benefits/Responsibilities

By Kathy Wikowski

I.R.S. Definition: "A 501(c)(3) is exempt from federal income tax if it has these purposes: charitable, religious, educational,
literary, scientific, testing for public safety, fosters amateur sports competition, prevents cruelty to children and
animals." You are most likely asking what would any of these definitions have to do with a musical organization and why should
your organization apply for such a designation? Many of the musical organizations in the Pittsburgh and surrounding areas that have already received their IRS exemption under this status do so under the "charitable" and "educational" areas. A band may perform a concert to raise
money for a specific charity. All performances are educational in nature through the commentary of the conductor
about the music being played, explaining about the instruments that make up the band or orchestra, and how they are
played and how they contribute to the overall sound of the musical presentation.

501(c)(3) Organizations Enjoy the Following Privileges:
♪ Exemption from Federal Income Tax
♪ Exemption from F.U.T.A. (federal unemployment tax)
♪ Tax Deductibility for Donors
♪ Eligibility for Government & Foundation Grants
♪ Eligible for Bulk Mailing Permit
♪ Credibility

501(c)(3) Organizations Must Fulfill the Following Responsibilities
♪ Keep Adequate Records
♪ File Required Returns
♪ Provide Donor Substantiation
♪ Obey Disclosure Laws
♪ Generate Public Support
♪ Avoid "Excess Benefits" for insiders
♪ Shun Political Activity
♪ Limit Legislative Activity
♪ Limit Unrelated Business Activity

Applying for 501(c)(3) status does take some time and effort, however, in doing some research for this article, an excellent
web site was discovered that has absolutely EVERYTHING that you would ever need to know about this application
process. Check out This web site is posted by Sandy Deja, a tax consultant with 33
years experience with IRS Form 1023 and it is designed to help new non-profits complete the application. It is written
in plain English and is very easy to follow through. It also has great information for all non-profits, even those who may
already have their designation.
New Year's Resolution - Apply for 501(c)(3)!

New Music Corner

This section is intended to be a place for conductors and musicians to share information on new music they are playing.  If you have something to contribute please email us the information at  Please include the title, composer/arranger, publisher and a brief description of the piece.  Your description might include things like difficulty, instrumentation strengths requirements, style, etc.

Flight of Valor
Commissioned by the members of the Somerset County Community Band, Somerset County, Pennsylvania
James Swearingen
Published: 2003
Grade: 3½
Performance Time: 6:14
Publisher: C. L. Barnhouse Company

Provided by Dan Croft—Director, Somerset County Community Band

James Swearingen is one of my favorite composers.  As a smaller high school band director, his music is good to play, fun to play, sounds good and is a good teaching vehicle and the audience enjoys listening to it.  Each year I would start each program with his latest piece.  Then I would stuff folders for my Somerset County Community Band. each year the members would ask, how many Swearingen numbers are we doing this year?  The officers decided to contact Mr. Swearingen to see what they could do to have a work commissioned for the band. The ladies auxiliary of the Somerset F.O.E. agreed to fund it and the composition was on the way.  In a conversation with the community band president, Mr. Swearingen asked what kind of piece would be appropriate for our band. during the conversation, Mr. Swearingen came to realize that we live within 10 miles of where united flight 93 went down on September 11th so he decided to write the piece, titled Flight of Valor and dedicate it to the "heroes' of the plane.

On a hot August evening rehearsal, the president, Dave Breen, handed me a box.  Inside was a composition by Mr. Swearingen I was out of my mind with amazement, but when I found out the subject, I was truly moved, but not nearly as moved when we first worked on the piece.  I could tell from the first reading what he was trying to say musically.  What an experience!.  Mr. Swearingen came to 2 of our rehearsals and conducted the premiere performance of the piece on the 1st anniversary of 9-11 at the Somerset Alliance church, to a packed house and standing ovation.  I have performed the piece many many times, but I couldn't conduct it without first telling the audience what it is musically what they are going to hear.  
It starts off with a military theme, for as the composer says, little did those people on that plane realize that on that day they were going to be soldiers.  Then there is a hymn, It Is Well With My Soul, written by a man who lost his 4 daughters in a boat accident on their way to England from the U.S., the mother survived and went on to England.  He left the U.S. to be with her and when he reached the spot where the boat went down he had a spiritual experience and wrote the hymn that states no matter how things difficult get, you can survive it if things are well with your soul.  Little did Mr. Swearingen know when he wrote it that it was Todd Beamers ("lets roll") favorite hymn!  After the hymn, the tension on the airplane becomes very apparent.  In the middle of the tension, there is an interlude.  This is the only thing I didn't  understand what he was trying to say musically so I called him and he explained to me that this interlude was when the family members on the ground, knowing what happened in New York, called their loved ones on the plane.  Then the people on the plane understood what was happening on the plane.  As we now know it was being turned around to be crashed into the White House or Capitol.  The people then on the plane realized what they had to do, and they also then realized that they were probably saying goodbye to their loved ones.  Then we get back to the tension on the  airplane which gets more and more and more tensious, until there is silence, the plane has gone down.  The silence in here is the loudest silence I've ever heard in music.  Then there are somber chords played by the band, indicating that there has been a tragedy.  After the somber chords, we are reminded of the soft sweet sound of It Is Well With My Soul.  That hymn gets stronger and louder, stronger and louder until there is a heroic tutti rendition of the hymn.  Then we return to the military theme, for indeed, these flight members did give their lives for their country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Association of Concert Band Convention

The 30th annual convention of the Association of Concert Bands will take place April 2-6, 2008 in Corning, New York hosted by the Corning Area Community Concert Band. The convention will have clinics of interest to musicians and concerts by several bands including a convention band.
The Convention Band is made up of musicians from community bands across the country who rehearse together during the convention under the baton of Allan McMurray. (See the registration link below for details.) A local band, the East Winds Symphonic Band, is one of the bands that have been selected to perform during the convention. They will be performing Friday evening.

Association of Concert Bands Web site:
Convention Registration Form:
Convention Hotel: Radisson Hotel Corning (607-962-5000)
Concert Venue: Corning Museum of Glass Auditorium

Combined Calendar (As of December 23, 2007 for Winter 2008)
For the updates and the entire calendar visit the online calendar

January  2008:
Sat, 26
7:30pm Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra Upper St Clair High School Theatre

February  2008:
Sun, 10
Aeolian Winds of Pittsburgh Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Castle Shannon
Sat, 16
Butler County Symphony Orchestra Butler Area Intermediate High School Auditorium
Sun, 24
North Suburban Symphonic Band Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Center

March 2008:
Sat, 8
Westmoreland Symphonic Winds Cecilian Hall,  Seton Hill University
Sat, 15
Edgewood Symphony Orchestra JCC Katz Auditorium
Sat, 15
Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra Upper St Clair High School Theatre
Sat, 15
Allegheny Brass Band  Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church
Sat, 15
8pm Butler County Symphony Orchestra Butler Area Intermediate High School Auditorium


Festival Band
The 5th Annual Three Rivers Community Band Festival will be held May 3, 2008, at Upper St. Clair High School.  A new and exciting concept which will allow a larger number of area musicians to participate in the festival will be featured: a Festival Band comprised of area Community Band Musicians.  The band will rehearse on the morning of the festival with a guest conductor, and then perform selected pieces during the afternoon concert.  For more information and application materials, please visit:

Contacting Us:

Southwestern Pennsylvania Band Partners is dedicated to helping community music groups in the southwestern Pennsylvania Region. 
Please visit us online at the address below to learn more or become involved.

Regional Bands with web sites (for updated list visit the links page)

Aeolian Winds
Allegheny Brass Band
Armstrong Concert Band
Blairsville Community Concert Band
Butler County Symphony
Community Band South
East Winds Symphonic Band
Edgewood Symphony
Harmony-Zelienople Community Band
Harrisville Community Band
Jeannette Community Band
Kiski Valley Community Band
Kittanning Firemen's Band
Musicians Concert Band
North Pittsburgh Philharmonic
North Suburban Symphonic Band
Ohio Valley Community Band
Pine Creek Community Band
Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra
Resurrection Band
Scottdale Concert Band
Somerset County Community Band
Washington Symphonic Orchestra
West Hills Symphonic Band
Westmoreland Symphonic Winds

Contributing to the newsletter
Everyone is welcome to contribute an article to the newsletter.  The topic is up to you—something you think your fellow musicians would be interested in. Just email your article to:

For additions to the web site email:

In the next newsletter
In our next newsletter due out in early April you will find:

Sarah McElfresh,  East Winds Symphonic Band
Scott McElfresh, East Winds Symphonic Band
Kathy Wikowski, Allegheny Brass Band,  North Suburban Symphonic Band

December 25, 2007