Moving Forward

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The band had an amazing summer full of emotions that would put anyone through the ringer. After losing Tommy Guilbert (our conductor, artistic director and friend) shortly after our May concert, the band had many things to do. First, we had the honor of performing at Tommy’s memorial service that ended up being a who’s who of band directors. Almost a mini Band Director convention if you will…. We followed that up by performing at the John Paul II graduation ceremony where we provided the music for the graduates and their families. This led us right into our summer concert series out at Haggard Park in downtown Plano.

The weather this year was unbelievable and we were so thankful that it never got that hot during the summer concert series. We ended our shortened summer series this year on July 3rd with a Patriotic concert and featured vocalist Michele Todd. We cut the summer series short this year because the Plano Community Band had been invited to perform at the Texas Bandmasters Association’s annual convention in San Antonio. This had been a dream of Tommy’s for many years and he had worked tirelessly to get us to a point to be accepted for this honor. This was as large a task as I have ever taken on in my musical career, and by far the largest honor bestowed upon the band in its 34 year history.

The band performed exceptionally well and with our guest artist, Geoff Gallante, we represented Tommy and his legacy very well. The band had some additional guest conductors to share the stage with me. Richard Floyd conducted “Seal Lullaby” and Michael Browning conducted “Mancini!”. Buddy Mattei also conducted and premiered his new march “Return with Honor”. I cannot thank the band members enough for their dedication and commitment to make this performance so good and be so well received.

The band took a bit of time off in August, but the board and selection committee was hard at work going over resumes and working on finding our new Artistic Director. By the time the band got back to together in September to start rehearsals, we had narrowed the list to 5 and started interviews. From there, the selection committee narrowed the group to 3 and over the last 3 weeks, each of the candidates have come in to conduct the band for a portion of our rehearsal. This has given them an opportunity to experience the band and for our members to experience the candidates. We will be making our final selection within the next two weeks, and I will be very excited with whomever is selected.

Make sure to come out to hear the next performance by the Plano Community Band at the Eisemann Center on November 23rd at 2:30 PM. You can secure your reservation on the website or by clicking this link.  I look forward to seeing you there.

Jim Carter


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