Community Music Groups Working Together
A Newsletter of Southwestern
Pennsylvania Band Partners
Valley Community Band
by Carol Pinto-Smith
Secretary, Kiski Valley Community Band
The Kiski Valley Community Band was established in 1993 because of the
desire of our adult musicians to have an outlet for their musical
Our band consists of musicians ranging from high school students to the
over-50 crowd. Members come from many communities in the
Kiski Valley region including
Vandergrift, Apollo, Leechburg, New Kensington, Lower
Burrell, Springdale and Freeport.
Patti Marco, our president and conductor, teaches seventh- and
eighth-grade band at Kiski Area Intermediate School, Allegheny
Township. A graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, she is
co-director of the elementary band and on the staff of the Kiski Area
High School marching band.
The Kiski Valley Community Band performs at many community functions
during the year including benefit concerts at Christmas and local
The next performance of the Kiski Valley Community Band is February, 14
at 2pm at the Pittsburgh Mills Mall in Frazer as part of the
For more information about the band, please visit their website at
PA Community Bands
(As of January 7, 2010)
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 25 groups listed in our directory from the
Southwestern Pennsylvania region.
Hills Symphonic Band
Clement Rolin, Conductor
Alan Skwarla, President
Karen Koszak, Business Secretary
verified: October 27, 2009
A. Warren Shirer, Conductor
Rhonda Allison, Contact person
Jay Copenhaver, Secondary contact person
Verified: October 21, 2009
Jim Bennett, Co-Director
Dean Streator, Co-Director
Verified: October 19, 2009
Please check the listing of your group in the online directory to see
if it is correct and let us know so we can put a “Verified
- See the complete list of
Southwestern PA Community Bands at:
- To be added to the online
directory, send email to email@example.com
Birthdays in 2010
~ Blairsville Community
~ Pine Creek Community Band
~ Ohio Valley Community Band
~ Resurrection Band
~ Harrisville Community Band
Descriptions and Intro to Bylaws
In Volume 4
Issue 1 we looked at what it means to be a 501c3 organization and how
to get started in the process of getting that designation for a group. One of the requirements of the application
process is to submit a copy of the organization’s bylaws. Most of our reading audience are members of
already existing bands so we will not get into the creation of a band
here. If you are looking to create a new
ensemble there are resources available and I would strongly recommend
joining the Association of Concert Bands (http://www.acbands.org) to
have access to their many resources including the Band Builders Manual.
are many different types of community bands, there are many different
organizational structures. This is
typically formalized with bylaws. Your
organizational structure is also something that your group may revisit
from time to time as the band evolves.
Many groups have
questions of what should and should not be in their bylaws. How specific should we make job descriptions
of our officers and conductors? These are
good questions and there are multiple approaches to take.
The bylaws can be very detailed and very specific which can be helpful in many situations, but you
want to be careful that your bylaws do not restrict actives the group
may want to take in the future without having to amend the bylaws.
Here we will
start with job descriptions of members of the organization and or board. A first question might be, what positions
should we have? The titles and positions
below do not come from any single group or are not necessarily common
for every group. A web search of
“community bands and by laws” will bring you many different
examples from which you can draw from in determining what is best for
your individual group. Most groups have a
board of directors which is made up of the officers of the band
(President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer).
There are other positions which may or may not be members of the
board. For example not all conductors are
members of the board; the librarian is also commonly not a board level
position, but it also not a surprise to see it as such.
listed below are not intended to be a complete list of possible
positions but are the most common, and the job description is
intentionally vague to give a basic idea of what a position might
entail. A more detailed description would
need to come from discussions within the current board or organizing
committee of your group to have what makes the most sense for you.
probably many more positions that some groups have as part of their
governing or leadership structure. Certain
responsibilities may be better suited for a different position
depending on the group. As an example,
there are some groups where the board selects the music and the
conductor has little to no input in that process. As
noted above, some duties were listed under multiple positions. There is no single way to run a band, each
group is unique; however there are some common things that all groups
will need so looking to others for guidance is very helpful.
- Select music for
rehearsals and programs; run rehearsals; evaluate musicians, appoint
chairs; appoint section leaders.
Conductor (Assistant Musical Director)
- Assist the
conductor (Musical Director) with their duties as determined by the
Conductor (Musical Director)
preside over board meetings; be the spokesperson for the general
membership of the band; be the spokesperson to the public for the band.
- Able to step in
for the president; assist the president and other officers of the board
with their duties
financial records for the organization; collect dues; prepare financial
reports; file appropriate IRS paperwork; pay bills as they are
- Maintain the
record of minutes for board meetings; conduct any necessary
correspondence that does not fall under the prevue of another officer;
maintain the records of membership
- An elected
member of the board that does not hold a particular office who assists
in various aspects of the boards duties.
- responsible for
storage and transport of all property of the Band to performances
- Responsible for
booking concerts for the band; working with concert promoters;
arranging all details of concerts run by the band
- Responsible for
the membership of the organization—this has many different
possibilities ranging from chair placement to maintaining a roster
information; ensuring the membership is aware of rehearsal and concert
schedule among others
- May be the same
as concert manager or may include other financial duties not covered by
- Responsible for
the publicity of the ban through various media outlets and other items
which will provide publicity for the band
- Maintains the
records of the music library
- Maintains the
historical records of the band, this may include things such as a scrap
- Maintains the
web site for the band; responsible for keeping the web site current.
section is intended to be a place for conductors and
musicians to share information on new music they are playing.
you have something to contribute please email us the information at
firstname.lastname@example.org with “New Music
Corner” in the
subject line. Please include the title, composer/arranger, publisher
and a brief description of the piece.
Composer: Richard L. Saucedo
Performance time: 3:35 min
Publisher: Hal Leonard (HL 04002794 )
Hal Leonard web site:
By Sarah McElfresh
The Hal Leonard website describes this piece as “rhythmic and
energetic” and I must agree. This work contains contrasts
of tempo and style with some familiar music interwoven through out the
piece. As the name suggests it has the feeling of a barn dance
while incorporating themes from classical and Broadway music. It
starts off quick with the barn dance feel, and then has a humors slant
before going into a gentle melodic passage. The second half of
the piece gradually picks up the tempo as it races to the end.
The entire ensemble is well represented throughout the piece.
The mp3 file is available to listen to at the Hal Leonard site. It is
definitely worth a listen. This piece seems suited for any
concert venue and audience.
One piece of criteria I have for evaluating music is “Do I like
to play it?” I am not a musical director,
I sit in the back of the band in the low brass section and play.
As such I often have parts that are not terribly exciting, that was
true for this piece. However, it was a fun piece to listen
to during rehearsal and look for all the hidden themes and therefore I
enjoyed playing it. It did take a few rehearsals to get to that
point where the piece takes shape and you can understand how
things fit together. If your group is one that likes to read
through a piece and then vote on whether to keep working on it, you
might let this piece go as all the components are not evident at
first. In my opinion, It is deserving of that second look.
This piece is a definite audience pleaser.
(As of January 7, 2009 for Winter 2010)
For the updates and the entire calendar visit the online calendar
Rivers Community Band Festival
Band Registration open for 2010 Festival
7th Three Rivers Community Band Festival will be held on Saturday May
1, 2010 at Upper St. Clair High School Theatre
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,
Denis Colwell and then perform selected pieces during the afternoon
concert. Applications should be
received by February 15, 2010.
more information and application materials, please visit: http://www.ewsb.org/festival
click on “Festival
The Association of Concert Bands (ACB) is a national organization
dedicated to encouraging and fostering adult community, municipal and
civic bands and musicians. Membership has its privileges,
different levels of membership—individual ($30/yr), family
($45/yr), life ($1000), organizational ($50/yr or $275/yr), and
corporate ($150/yr). The more expensive type of
memberships comes with the BMI/ASCAP Blanket licensing agreement that
keeps community bands legal with performance fees. All types
memberships come with a subscription to the Journal, voting privileges,
and participation in the annual convention and convention
The Journal is published three times a year, and includes articles
about community bands from across the country; festivals, concerts,
band camps, reviews of music and CDs and other topics that would be of
interest to a community band musician. For more information,
visit the web site or contact Sarah McElfresh, Regional Membership
Coordinator for Pennsylvania at sarahmcelfresh (at) yahoo.com.
you interested in an
Unwanted Music Swap??
The idea has been presented by the president of one of the bands that
we have a music swap. A place to trade original full scores
of music that are just taking up space in your music library.
Swap those pieces you will never play for one reason or another for
something else. Perhaps it is too easy or hard for your
group—might be just right for
Perhaps it is a piece that your band has overplayed—it may be
brand new to another. Perhaps you just need to thin out your
library. There are many more reasons why you may no longer
need or want that piece of music, and it may be a gem for some other
you are interested in participating in such an event, please contact
Sarah McElfresh at sarahmcelfresh (at) yahoo.com
Date and location will be set and announced after the schedules of
those most interested have been worked out.
National Community Band
9-11, 2010, Las Vegas NV
by the John
Philip Sousa Foundation, the Sousa National Community Band is comprised
of individual musicians from around the country who travel to a given
location to play a concert in the
Sousa under the baton of Col. John R. Bourgeois.
an email to
forget to sign up
for the monthly
Tell your friends so they don’t miss upcoming concerts.
To be on our mailing list send email to
email@example.com with the subject subscribe
Southwestern Pennsylvania Band Partners is
dedicated to helping community music groups in the southwestern
Please visit us online at the address below to learn more or become
Bands with web sites
(for updated list visit the links page)
Everyone is welcome to contribute an article to the
The topic is up to you—something you think your fellow
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 our next newsletter due out
in early April you will find:
Sarah McElfresh, East Winds Symphonic Band, Delmont Concert
Scott McElfresh, East Winds Symphonic Band
Kathy Wikowski, Allegheny Brass Band, North Suburban