IRONDEQUOIT CONCERT BAND HISTORY

Thanks to the Eastridge Kiwanis Club of Irondequoit, the Irondequoit Concert Band met for its first rehearsal on April 23, 1974. Under the direction of Mr. Al Piato, the 37 musicians in attendance started the tradition of bringing concert band music to the citizens of the Town of Irondequoit. July 4th of that year marked the premiere concert of the group, which had increased to 55 members.

A Board of Directors, consisting of band members and people from the community, was formed in 1975 to promote and govern the band. The Board meets on a monthly basis to draft plans and ideas for the direction of the organization, as well as planning for the fiscal well-being of the group. The band is incorporated as a not-for-profit organization and has tax-exempt status. Operating on an annual budget of $4,000, the funds come from donations from community groups, individuals, and the Town of Irondequoit.

In the spring of 1977, Mr. David Schantz, a music educator, was appointed conductor and continued leading the group until the fall of 1997. At that time, Mr. J. Russell Thomas, a retired music educator, was appointed interim conductor. In January of 1998, he was named the permanent director.

Mr. Thomas stepped down to become assistant conductor in 2010, handing the baton back to Mr. Schantz.

Now in its 38th year, the band has approximately 80 members and performs 10-12 free concerts every season, September through July. The membership encompasses volunteer musicians from all walks of life. They enjoy not only playing concert band music of all types, but also the comradeship which has become a trademark of the group. Major trips to Washington, D.C. in 1993 and 2000 and a trip to Boston in 2003 were very successful and further solidified the feeling of "family".

The band looks forward to this new season which will include new challenging arrangements, old stand-bys, making good music, and joining together with friends—all of which adds up to the Irondequoit Concert Band.