Member Spotlight – Quakertown Band

Since its founding in 1877, the Quakertown Band hasn’t missed a beat.

From coronets to cymbals and clarinets, saxophones, snare drums, flutes, piccolos, trumpets, horns, tubas and more, the Quakertown Band is one of a handful of performing community bands.

It’s also among the oldest continuously performing community bands in the country.

“When it started, it was a job. You would get a company owned instrument and they would pay you to learn it, and to play it,” said Erik Szabo, Quakertown Band director of development.

Today, the 40-piece musical organization continues to entertain the community with special performances for hire, a free summer concert series, corporate parties, festivals, and special event celebrations, Szabo said.

Embracing the 21st century and in the entrepreneurial spirit of today’s technology mavericks, a Kickstarter campaign set to close on Oct. 31 aims to raise $15,000. The money will fund the band’s first professionally recorded and produced compact disk.

Songs on the new recording will showcase work composed, or specifically arranged, for the Quakertown Band.

Live performance repertoire includes an assortment from their wheelhouse of overtures, Broadway tunes, movie score selections, big band, swing, Dixieland and marches, which will feature on the CD.

An upcoming documentary, “Meet the Band – Celebrating Over 200 Years of Community Bands,” is slated to be shown on cable or Public Broadcasting Service affiliates television. “Meet the Band…” features the Quakertown Band along with three other community bands from across the nation, telling their stories.

Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding resource platform, aimed at providing creative project capital.

So far, roughly $2,000 has been raised through Kickstarter, Szabo said.

“If the entire amount is not received by the end of October, we don’t get any money,” Szabo said. A 2016 target release in planned if Kickstarter funding is successful.

The band has made three CD recordings, “Firsts and Favorites,” “The 125th Anniversary Celebration CD,” and “Quakertown Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Celebrating Quakertown’s 150th Birthday,” featuring an original composition “Quakertown Sesquicentennial March,” composed for the band and the occasion.

Today, Quakertown Band’s 45-members and volunteers offer free concerts in the parks and they support young musicians in the community keeping the organization’s music and educational outreach mission alive.

Outreach, impact and enduring history are among the reasons The Avery Dennison Foundation awarded a recent $3,000 grant to the Quakertown Band, where they performed at the grand opening of the new Visitor Center & Museum, located in the front of the Chamber offices.

“The band reaches more than 100 people during its season, performing for everyone,” said Joanne Snyder, Avery Dennison Corporation spokeswoman.

Snyder said the Avery Team is a committee of five employees. Each year, the team nominates a non-profit for the foundation’s Granting Wishes award, based upon set criteria and a completed application.

“They’re an important part of the community,” Snyder said.

Strike up the band!

Hear the Quakertown Band’s next public performance at 11:15 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 17, during the annual Quakertown Autumn Alive! festival.

For a complete schedule of performance events through December 2015, visit www.quakertownband.org/performances.

To donate to the Kickstarter project to help fund a world premiere CD of recordings specifically crafted for and performed by the Quakertown Band, www.quakertownband.org

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