Robert Lenox, the Supervisor of Music for the Town of Stratford started the Stratford Community Concert Band in September, 1961 by placing an article in the newspaper calling for local musicians to meet at the Stratford High School band room. The first person through the door was my father, Dr. Bernard D. Sherman who brought his baritone saxophone. Other members of the original band were Elliot David on trumpet, father of current band treasurer and flutist Stacey Severn, Frank Furman on trombone, the band director of the Bunnell High School band and Arthur Church on percussion, a future president of the band. The new band needed more members to fill out each section so my father recruited me that year when I was a sophomore playing alto sax and clarinet in the Bunnell Band.
Mr. Lenox was the first musical director of the Band with Frank Furman as the assistant conductor and Dr. Bernard Sherman was the first band president. The Band presented their first concert on Sunday, March 4th, 1962 in the Bunnell High School auditorium. The Band presented their first outdoor Summer concert on Paradise Green in June of 1962 which has become an annual tradition that continues to this day. For that first outdoor band concert, we set up folding chairs on the grass with no sound system. In future years, the Town constructed a concrete slab in a corner of the Green for us to set up our chairs and eventually, the beautiful Town Gazebo was constructed for Summer concerts with a full sound system.
An all-volunteer organization, the SCCB has been very fortunate to have had many talented conductors since we began. Following Mr. Lenox, our conductors were Frank Furman, Victor Barnes (ass't), Dr. Bill Sand, Al McConnell, Dominic Mariconda, Mike Varga, Carolyn Barber, Jim Karas, John Pilieri (ass't), David Wicks, Bill Letsch, Mike Moss, Walter Culup, Dr. George Jacobson, Chris Geist (ass't), Steve Saunders, Duane Berge (ass't), Steve Fredericksen, Matt Holmgren (ass't) and our current musical director, Wayne Hiller. In addition to conducting, Wayne also writes the musical arrangements of all of the music we perform.
The Band has performed at area convalescent homes, senior centers, church fairs, and town parks. We invite any local band musician to join us at a Tuesday evening rehearsal at the Baldwin Center, 1000 West Broad St., Stratford beginning at 6:30 PM. For additional information, contact band president Bob Sherman.
Bob Sherman, SCCB President
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