The Perinton Concert Band was founded in December, 1977 by Perinton resident Ken MacDavid and a group of local musicians. The band’s first director was Dr. Sidney Hodkinson, nationally known composer and faculty member of the Eastman School of Music. The band performed its first concert in April, 1978. In June 1980, Dr. Hodkinson left the band and the band’s Board of Directors appointed Wendell Harrison as musical director. Mr. Harrison was president of the Wendell Harrison Music Corporation, and held a BM and an MM in music education. During Mr. Harrison’s leadership the band grew substantially in both numbers and musical talent. Following Mr. Harrison’s departure in 1983, the band had several directors including Dr. Carl Atkins and Al “Corky” Fabrizio. Following Mr. Fabrizio’s departure in 1988, the Board of directors appointed our current musical director Charles Van Buren.
As the band’s stability improved and its reputation for musical excellence spread, it began to receive invitations to perform at various conferences, festivals and exchange programs (see below). These appearances have primarily been in New York State, but the band has also traveled to Ontario, Canada and Boston, Mass. The band has also performed with many regionally and nationally acclaimed professional musicians, groups, and guest conductors (see below). In 1996 the band recorded its first compact disc, titled “Pride of Perinton”. Two more CDs were subsequently recorded, one in 2001 titled “Great Music from Great Movies” and a holiday music CD (“A Gift of Music”) in 2006. In 2008, the band commissioned Jeff Tyzik (Pops director of the RPO) to compose a piece to celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary. Mr. Tyzik’s composition entitled “Race to Summit” was premiered at the Association of Concert Bands National Conference in Corning, NY.
In summary, the Perinton Concert Band has grown from a very meager beginning to become one of the most highly regarded community bands in the Northeastern United States. The band owes its success to a long line of dedicated members and directors with a single-minded objective of continuous musical improvement along with stable governance.
Noteworthy conferences, festivals and exchange programs:
New York State School Music Association Winter Conference (’87)
Music Educators National Conference, All-Eastern Division Conference (‘95)