History of The Guilderland Town Band
The Guilderland Town Band (GTB) was organized in the spring of 1969 through the Town of Guilderland Parks and Recreation Department and its members are both amateur and professional musicians who range in age from teenagers to octogenarians, and provides a venue for young and old to work together for a common goal. Don Webster, former Instrumental Music Director at Guilderland High School, founded the band and was its first conductor. The first season of performances took place in the summer of 1969 with concerts at Stuyvesant Plaza, the Altamont Village Park, and on the lawn in Tawasentha Park near the pool. The performance shell at Tawasentha Park was built a few years later and has become known as the Guilderland Performing Arts Center (GPAC). The Town Band performed one of the inaugural concerts on its stage. The band continues to perform at GPAC presenting three free concerts each summer. In addition to concerts at GPAC, the GTB has also performed at Fourth of July concerts at the Albany Country Club and Altamont Fairgrounds, the opening of the new Music Haven Stage in Schenectady's Central Park in 1999, the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Guilderland Town Hall, the Empire State Plaza, the village park in Altamont and in various European locations during the Band's trip to Europe in 1989. Guilderland Town Band members have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with many talented guest conductors in past years including Colonel Arnald Gabriel of the US Army Band. Don Webster retired as band director in August 2001 and was succeeded by Kathleen Ehlinger. (The band was also directed in 2004 and 2005 by Lori Hershenhart). In 2012, the band had the honor of performing for the New York State School Music Association's (NYSSMA) Summer Conference in Albany. The Guilderland Town Band will celebrate 50 years of performing at Tawasentha Park in 2019!