With a new director, Scottdale Concert Band seeks new members for summer schedule
New members are being sought for the Scottdale Concert Band, which is scheduled to play its first concert of the summer on July 1 in Ligonier.
Band members are working with a new director this year, as the widely known musician and conductor Roderick Booker has picked up the baton.
Booker is retired as the Hempfield Area School District music department chairman and director of bands, and also from Westmoreland County Community College, where he was director of music and conductor of the concert choir, jazz singers and stage and symphonic bands.
The Scottdale ensemble, which was founded in 1981, has recently been through some challenging times, which led to the change in leadership.
On Jan. 22, the Connellsville home of the band's former director, Warren Shirer, was destroyed by fire. Shirer, his mother and four other relatives staying in the house escaped without injury.
“They all narrowly escaped with their lives. Both vehicles in the driveway caught fire and blew up,” says band member Jay Copenhaver. “They waited outside for the firemen to arrive. Every room except one was destroyed.
“Amazingly, the room that was spared contained our music,” he says.
Band members and other volunteers gathered in the aftermath to recover the band's music, which was stored in nine filing cabinets in that room.
Shirer and his mother then moved to Georgia to be near his brother, Copenhaver says, leading the band to offer the director position to Booker.
Upcoming performances for the Scottdale Concert Band include:
• Ligonier Summer Concert Series, 7 p.m. July 1 on East Main Street
• Scottdale Gazebo, 7 p.m. July 13
• Scottdale Town Picnic, 2 p.m. Aug. 19 in Loucks Park
• Combined concert with Jeannette, Delmont, Penn Trafford and Kiski community bands, 3 p.m. Aug. 26 in the Seton Hill Performing Arts Center in Greensburg
Musicians interested in joining the band should call Copenhaver at 412-670-3233.
Rehearsals are 7:30-9 p.m. Tuesdays in Christ United Methodist Church, 201 Market St., Scottdale. Musicians of all proficiency levels are welcome; there are no auditions or fees.
Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @shirley_trib.