Friday, May 16, 2008

Concert Season is Here!

The Stonewall Brigade Band's Summer season starts this weekend with
two of our annual events.

Saturday we will be playing at the New Market Battlefield Park as a
part of the annual reenactment of The Battle Of New Market. The
concert is at noon in a tent just outside the Hall of Valor at the
park. There is an admission charge to the park (but of course band
members get in free.)

Sunday will be the 31st year that the band will play for the
Baccalaureate and Commencement at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton.
We play a 30-minute "prelude" concert at 9:30 am, then the
processional, a hymn, and after the conferring of degrees we play the
Mary Baldwin Hymn and the recessional. I arranged "God of Grace and
God of Glory" for this event 31 years ago, and our librarian, Cindy
Hosaflook, updated it by putting it in to Finale and undoing a
modulation to the last verse about 5 years ago. I also arranged the
MBC hymn which is sung to the tune of "Children of the Heavenly
Father" at the same time. Our processional is the typical "Pomp and
Circumstance" main melody, as arranged by James Ployhar, and our
recessional is Alfred Reed's arrangement of R. Vaughan Williams' "Sine
Nomine". The event is held on the terrace on the "uphill side" of the
library, and moves to Augusta Expo half an hour later in the event of

Our Brass Ensemble will be playing for two annual Memorial Day events
over Memorial Day weekend. All band events can be found on the
"schedule" link on the band web page.

The 120th annual season of Summer Concerts in the Park will begin on
June 2 and will continue every Monday at 8 pm at the Stonewall Brigade
Bandstand in beautiful Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton VA. Concerts are
held "rain or shine," and the programs are shown on our web site.  

This is Bob's 33rd year of conducting the Summer Concert Series.  It is the 120th-annual season of concerts in Gypsy Hill Park, going back to the year the park was established and the trees were planted.  This is the 154th continuous year of service for the band. 

We have added over 20 new members to the band since last Summer, and
expect this season to be one of the best ever. As always, band
members begin setup about 7 pm, with tune-up at 7:40 and downbeat at 8
pm. Concertgoers should bring lawn chairs or blankets, as there is
limited permanent seating at the bandstand. In addition there are now
several "pull in" parking spaces available on the "horseshoe" section
of the park drive so that handicapped persons can listen from their
cars. Come early for best parking.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Band Festival Results

Virginia band festival results can be seen at:
All results should be complete by the end of March.

List of Districts and included cities/counties at:

Some groups may petition to be included in an
adjacent district.

Monday, March 3, 2008

District 5 Band Festival schedule now online

The District 5 Band Festival, sponsored by the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors' Association (VBODA)
is being held March 7 and 8, 2008, at Turner Ashby High School in Bridgewater VA.

The schedule is located at this link:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Special Musical Event at UVA on March 29, 2008

When I was a student at the University of Virginia from 1958 through 1963 I practiced on the Ernest Skinner pipe organ in Old Cabell Hall.  This organ is the oldest surviving Ernest Skinner instrument in its original location and in its original condition.  Along with the Tannenberg organ, 200 years old, in Hebron Lutheran Church, Madison VA, The Cabell Hall Skinner is one of the musical treasures of the nation.  

The McIntire Department of Music is having a special Skinner Organ Centennial event on Saturday March 29, 2008.  There is a 2 pm symposium and an 8pm concert by renowned organist Ken Cowan.  The event is free.  

Here is a link to the event:
Here is a link to a description of the instrument from the restorer:
Cabell Hall was designed by Stanford White and completed in 1898.  The building includes an auditorium that seats 994 with a Skinner organ, a gift of Andrew Carnegie in 1906. 
Here is a 360 degree virtual tour of the auditorium on the Tuesday Evening Concert Series web site.
This event will be quite worth your time, particularly if you are interested in history.  
The best location for parking is the Central Grounds Parking Garage on Emmett Street, as shown on the McIntire Department of Music web site:

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A job posting but not for a band

The church that I attend, Hebron Presbyterian, has a beautiful Taylor and Boody pipe organ that needs an organist.  

Here's the church web site advertisement:

Here is the Taylor and Boody web site about the instrument:

The instrument is only the second one in the world to be built using the tuning system devised by J. S. Bach and "hidden" in the "squiggles" at the top of the first page of his "Well Tempered Clavier."  This was discovered by Bradley Lehman, and is explained on this page:

Here is a sound clip from the organ's dedication. It includes Walther's prelude on "Praise to the Lord The Almighty, the King of Creation", some congregational singing, Bach's prelude on the same tune, and more congregational singing.

Here is a sound clip of three movements (1,2,4) from Mendelssohn's First Organ Sonata:

Here is a sound clip of Buxtehude's Praeludium in D

Mark Brombaugh is the organist on the sound clips. 

Contact information: 

Hebron Presbyterian Church
423 Hebron Road
Staunton, VA 24401
Phone: 540-885-1648
Fax: 540-885-9512

The church is directly across the road from the Taylor and Boody organ factory. 

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Updates to Stonewall Brigade Band web site

We have added quite a few links to the site.
Go to
Click on guestbook.
Click on NEW links page.
There you will find links to local college music departments, local
high school and middle school bands, local music stores, sheet music
sources, and other related sites.