In Concert:
Community Music Groups Working Together

A Newsletter of Southwestern Pennsylvania Band Partners

Winter 2009
Volume 5 Issue 1
Printable Version in PDF Format

Inside This Issue: 
Allegheny Brass Band Band Directory AdditionsBand Birthdays | YouTube and Community Bands |
 New Music Corner | Combined Concert CalendarAnnouncements | Band Web sites | Contact US

Allegheny Brass Band
by Dave Molter
from web site
With permission from Paul Gerlach
some edits/additions by Sarah McElfresh

The Allegheny Brass Band celebrates 25 years in 2008! In April of 1983, about 30 amateur brass players from the Pittsburgh area gathered together to participate in a movement that was quickly sweeping the United States: the Brass Band movement, based on the British-style brass bands. Under the direction of conductor John Culp, the ensemble presented a concert featuring American marches, British folk songs, and everything in between.

From that initial group of players was formed the North Hills Brass Band with John Culp as its newly appointed Music Director. In 1987 the band changed its name to the Allegheny Brass Band to reflect the larger area which the band served. The band has traditionally drawn its members from among the finest brass players in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Professional musicians sit side by side with accountants, teachers, and businesspeople to perform the great works for brass band.

In its 20-plus year history, the Allegheny Brass Band has performed for thousands of fans in the Western Pennsylvania area and throughout the United States. Under the leadership of conductor John Culp, the band won awards in competition and praise from critics and audiences alike.

In 1994, the ABB accepted an invitation from the Royal Bermuda Regiment to present a series of 4 concerts on the island of Bermuda. Under the direction of then-assistant conductor Keith Johnston, the ABB performed for standing-room-only crowds, concluding its tour with a special concert in the capital city of Hamilton for over 5,000 people. At the end of the 1995 season, John Culp announced his intent to step down as Music Director and the board appointed Frank Farina conductor while they began an intensive search which concluded in 1996 with the appointment of Johnston. In 1996, the band also performed in China at the invitation of the Chinese government.

After Johnston accepted a position with the Syracuse (NY) Symphony, the band needed to look no further than its own cornet section for its next -- and current -- Music Director, Paul Gerlach, a lifelong musician who currently also directs the Kiltie Band at Carnegie-Mellon University and is Artist/Lecturer in their Department of Music.      

With a solid core of charter members as well as dedicated new recruits, the Allegheny Brass Band continues to delight audiences of all ages. The band plays a regular concert series in the Greater Pittsburgh area between late fall and early spring of each year and during the summer months plays at community music series, special events, and private affairs.

In the tradition of the British brass bands that inspired it, the ABB performs many styles of music -- symphonic to opera, popular music from the Big Band era, selections from the Beatles through Broadway, movie and stage hits, plus the best new works for brass band from contemporary composers such as Philip Sparke, Stephen Bulla and William Himes.

The Allegheny Brass Band also educates viewers of its web site about the differences you will see when watching the British-style Brass Band concert versus a more traditional American Band Concert. Some highlights of that are presented here. Visit their web site at for a more detailed explanation.

So what does "British-style" mean?
The first important difference is that the musicians (aside from our percussionists) play brass instruments only. That is, unlike your typical high school or college band and most "community" bands, we have no woodwinds (saxophone, clarinet, bassoon, flute, oboe).

However, there are other American brass-only bands that still are not true, British-style brass bands. Why?
cornets (rather than trumpets); Eb "tenor" horns (rather than French horns); "British baritones" (which look like a larger tenor horn); one Eb cornet; one flugelhorn; trombones; Eb and BBb basses; and percussion.

Visit their web site at for more information, music clips, and join their mailing list.

Southwestern PA Community Bands (As of December 29, 2008)

Below are some recent updates to the directory.  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.

Westmoreland Symphonic Winds
Dr. Jason Worzbyt, Music Director and Conductor
Michelle Walters, Manager
Concert Band in residence at Seton Hill University.

Blairsville Community Concert Band
Dave Brozeski, Musical Director
Joe Profeta, Band President
111 Wallace Rd Blairsville, PA 15717

Band Birthdays in 2009

YouTube and the Community Bands

By Sarah McElfresh

A recent Making Music magazine article about learning to play guitar using YouTube clips got me to thinking about how I use YouTube as a community band musician.  I mainly use YouTube to go listen to some other group performing a piece that my band is currently working on.  This then got me wondering about how community bands are using YouTube.  Back in September 2008, a quick search on YouTube with the search phrases "Community Band" "Civic Band" "County Band" and "Municipal Band" yielded over 900 videos.  This does not include all the videos that are entered by the name of the piece being played or all the other common ending of names for community bands. So there are lots of videos posted, but what if any is the intent behind them? 

Curious to know the answer to this question, I posted it to the Community-Music Group.  I asked the following of the CM readers: 1) Who are posting these videos? Is it the "band"? Members of the band? Audience members?  2) Are these video clips being used for promotion of the group for new venues? for sponsors? for recruitment? for new audience members?  3) What are the concerns over the mechanical rights of these video clips? 4) Are bands linking to these videos from their web sites? or using them in other ways?

To see the full thread, start at  you need to be a subscriber to the Community Music yahoo group. 

I received a handful of responses regarding an individuals band’s video online, as well as other who were concerned (or not) about the mechanical rights, and what are some of the distinctions that need to (or might) be made regarding broadcasting online and selling a CD.  One of the main things of interest from the responses I received about individual bands, is that none of the video’s were posted with permission of the band.  One music director noted that “the performance wasn't too awful, AND the piece was public domain.”  The fact that the piece was in the public domain eliminated one concern that all of the other bands had about mechanical rights.  These bands all have their ASCAP/BMI licenses so they were legally allowed to perform the piece, but none of them had acquired the recording rights.  So what are the ramifications of their music being on YouTube?  The answer is unclear in many ways.

One of the responders on CM who is more versed in legal and historical issues answered my question with respect to those concerns.  He noted that the mechanical rights versus broadcast rights is still under debate in the courts and depending on the eventual rulings all who post copyrighted material are in danger of paying fines.  He also mentioned an issue that did not occur to me, permission of the individual musician to have their image broadcast for profit.  If one person does not sign a waiver allowing their image to be used; the video has to be shot without their image, or not used at all. As he pointed out, while the individual poster may not be posting it for profit, YouTube makes a profit from every video posted and viewed.  His final commentary was clear – check with an attorney regarding all releases.  

With regards to some of the other questions asked no one was using the video to seek sponsors or for recruitment.  Some thought these videos could be used effectively for this purpose if all rights were properly acquired.  Another mentioned that they feared the videos could be detrimental for recruitment and potential venues as their band has drastically changed musically since the video was shot.  Another person noted that promotion is precisely the reason young bands are using YouTube,  commenting that  these bands have done quite well using YouTube and MP3 sites for original music and rising to world wide fame.  So, if a community band wished to use YouTube for promotion and recruitment, there is precedent, although as noted above you will want to make sure you have permission of all musicians and have the rights to post the video.

In the coming newsletters, we will delve into the legal issues. As none of us our lawyers, we will be summarizing some of the references to give raise some of the issues for you to consider.  We will also look at podcasting.

Discussion from Community Music list:

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 with “New Music Corner” in the subject line. Please include the title, composer/arranger, publisher and a brief description of the piece. 

For the end of 2008, we will present a list of some relatively new music by previously featured composers.

Sounds of the Saint Lawrence - A Quebec Folk Song Suite
Composer: Philip Sparke
Published: 2008
Grade: 4
Performance time: 12:00
Publisher: Anglo Music Press
Philip Sparke's web site:
Publisher's web site:

Into The Joy Of Spring
Composer: James Swearingen
Published: 2001
Grade: 4
Performance Time: 6:13
Publisher: C L Barnhouse
James Swearingen's web site:
Publisher's web site:

Composer: Samuel R. Hazo
Published: 2006
Grade: 5
Performance Time: 3:35
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Samuel Hazo's web site:
Publisher's web site:

Wild Nights
Composer: Frank Ticheli
Published: 2007
Grade: 4
Performance Time: 6:40
Frank Tichelli's web site:
Publishers web site:

Lux Aurumque (Light of Gold)
Composer: Eric Whitacre
Published: 2005
Grade: 4
Performance Time: 5:30
Publisher: BCM International.
Publisher's web site:

First Light
Composer: Steven Bryant
Published: 2007
Grade: 5
Performance time: 8:30
Publisher: BCM International
Steven Bryant’s web site:
Publisher's web site:

Combined Calendar (As of December 29, 2008 for Winter 2009)
For the updates and the entire calendar visit the online calendar

January 2009:
Sat, 31 7:30pm Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra Upper St. Clair High School Theatre

February 2009:
Sat, 14
Aeolian Winds of Pittsburgh Giant Eagle Market District, Shadyside
Sat, 14
Aeolian Winds of Pittsburgh Giant Eagle Market District, South Hills
Sat, 14 7:30pm Butler County Symphony Orchestra Butler Area Intermediate High School Auditorium
Sat, 14
Washington Symphony Orchestra Trinity High School, Washington

March 2009:
Sat, 7 8pm Westmoreland Symphonic Winds Cecilan Hall, Seton Hill University
Sun, 8 3pm North Suburban Symphonic Band Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Center
Sat, 14 7:30pm Butler County Symphony Orchestra Butler Area Intermediate High School Auditorium
Sat, 14 7:30pm Edgewood Symphony Orchestra Katz Performing Arts Center Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh
Fri, 20 7pm The Pittsburgh Philharmonic Chartiers Valley High School
Sat, 21 7pm The Pittsburgh Philharmonic North Hills. Jr. High Auditorium
Sun, 22
Washington Symphony Orchestra Trinity High School, Washington
Sat, 28 7:30pm Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra Upper St. Clair High School Theatre
Sun, 29

Harmony-Zelienople Community Band Seneca Valley Intermediate School, Harmony


Three Rivers Community Band Festival
 Festival Band Registration open for 2009 Festival

The 6th Annual Three Rivers Community Band Festival will be held May 2, 2009, at Upper St. Clair High School There will again be a “Festival Band” which will allow a larger number of area musicians to participate in the festival.  The band will rehearse on the morning of the festival with guest   conductor, Elisabeth Heath-Charles and then perform selected pieces during the afternoon concert.  For more information and application materials, please visit:

The 2009 Sousa National Community Band  -  July 10-12, 2009
New Orleans, Louisiana

Join us in “The Big Easy” for the inaugural Sousa National Community Band. New Orleans is making remarkable progress in re-building and you can do your part by bringing your talent and your tourist dollars to one of the great historic cities of the United States. Come join a world-class conductor and talented musicians from around the country for a great weekend of music making. The band will be conducted by Colonel John R. Bourgeois, USMC (Ret.), former director of the United States Marine Band, "The President's Own."  

The Sousa National Community Band registration fee is $60.00.

More information:

Further inquiries may be directed to: Gerald Guilbeaux

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
Penn Trafford Community Band
Pine Creek Community Band
Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra
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. We are always looking for contributions to the "New Music Corner." 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 30 2008