Alesia Band marks 100 years of music new members welcome


January 14, 1998|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

"ANYONE WHO PLAYS brass, reeds or percussion is invited to rehearse with us," said Francis Staley, director of the Alesia Band, which celebrates its centennial this year.

The first rehearsal of the year takes place at 7: 30 p.m. tomorrow in the band room at North Carroll Middle School. Every year, the band welcomes new members into its ranks. The band has about 30 instrumentalists.

Surviving for 100 years is apparently not uncommon among our local community bands. The Yellow Springs Band in Frederick County has been around 112 years; the Brodbecks, Pa., town band celebrated its 110th anniversary recently; and the Westminster Municipal Band has passed the 100-year mark, too.

Like many in the United States, these bands began after the Civil War. Brass and reed instruments had been improved by that time by German instrument makers and could produce a full-bodied sound outdoors.

After the Civil War, Patrick S. Gilmore, bandmaster for the Union Army, assembled a concert band that later became the U.S. Marine Band. John Philip Sousa was Gilmore's successor.

The Alesia Band was formed in 1898, the year after Sousa composed "Stars and Stripes Forever."

The Alesia Band begins practice tomorrow with "Summertime" by George Gershwin, the familiar "On Top of Old Smokey," and other old numbers.

Staley was a musician in the band until he assumed the director's role 21 years ago.

He's pulling out music for "Stardust," "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening," and "Lazy River," part of a Hoagy Carmichael concert the band hopes to perform this year.

Weekly rehearsals culminate in outdoor concerts starting usually with the Strawberry Festival at Jerusalem Lutheran Church on Bachmans Valley Road the first Saturday in June. The band, known as a concert band, also plays in one or two parades, usually associated with the Hampstead and Manchester carnivals.

Information: 410-374-5117.

Consultant recognized

Dr. Charles Cassetta of Hampstead has received two top awards from Target Training International, which specializes in the field of management consulting.

The awards were presented Jan. 10 at the Winter Winners' Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. Cassetta received one of the President's Awards, given to several top achievers annually, and was runner-up for the 1997 Consultant of the Year Award.

"Even though I didn't get the top award, I'm happy," said $H Cassetta, who operates a counseling service, Cassetta Associates, in Hampstead.

A family commitment prevented Cassetta from attending the conference, even though, in his words, "winning the consultant award would be like winning the Heisman trophy."

Cassetta describes himself as a problem solver. He developed an in-depth survey of an individual's needs and desires that could identify areas for improvement in the business environment.

"I help people see themselves through the eyes of others," he said.

His methods were field tested for Target Training International by Randy Widrick, a specialist in the field. Widrick nominated Cassetta for the awards.

Cassetta's 150-page book, "Continuous Lifelong Learning," was published recently by TTI. It was introduced at the conference. Cassetta has been asked to create a series of smaller guides based on the book.

Cassetta, 64, lives with his wife, Angie, in Hampstead, where they enjoy eight grandchildren, three of whom attend local schools.

Artists sought

Local artists are being sought for exhibition at the Hampstead Art Gallery at the Hampstead Town Hall.

A professional hanging system has been installed for two- dimensional work. Three-dimensional works will be considered.

Exhibitions are scheduled every 45 days to permit night viewing hours during two Town Council and two planning and zoning meetings.

4 For guidelines, call Neil Ridgely, 410-374-2761.

Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 1/14/98

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