Community Band Spotlight January 2012 January 17 2012, 2 Comments

Compiled By: Stacy Flankey Community Band Spotlight this month features the band of Plano, Texas. The Plano Community Band is a non-profit volunteer organization, which currently has 85 active members from all walks of life: college students, doctors, mechanical engineers, software engineers, teachers, financial analysts, veterinarian, music teachers, geologist, marketing, and many more!  Throughout the years there have been many retired military service members who have joined the band, and some even played in one of the military bands!  The mission of the Plano Community Band is to provide quality music, free of charge, to a wide variety of audiences in the Plano and surrounding areas for their enjoyment and appreciation of music. Musical Director, Tommy Guilbert, leads the band.  Tommy was raised in Jackson and Vicksburg, Mississippi.  His mother was an organist, piano player, and teacher, which gave Tommy great exposure to music.  He started playing the trumpet in the 7th grade, and during his sophomore year of college decided to major in Music.  He received a Bachelor and Masters of Music degrees from Northeast Louisiana University.  Tommy taught band in Mississippi and Louisiana prior to coming to J.J. Pierce High School in 1969, producing consistent sweepstakes bands, many of which received state and national honors for outstanding performance.  Since leaving teaching to become a school financial consultant, Tommy has continued to be active as a clinician and conductor.  Tommy joined the Plano Community Band as Conductor in 2001.  Tommy and his wife, Denise, reside in Richardson, Texas. Jim Carter, Associate Conductor, was born in Texas City, Texas and has made Plano home since 1969, going through the Plano schools and its band program at Plano Senior High.  During his high school days, Jim was privileged to have played with Doc Severinsen and Alan Vizzuti, but his first love always seemed to be jazz.  After graduation, he was selected to play with the National Bandmasters Association Jazz Band, performing with Marvin Stamm at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  Jim attended Sam Houston University on a music scholarship, receiving his degree in Music Education in 1991.  After teaching a couple years, Jim returned to Plano.  To keep music in his life, Jim joined the Plano Community Band in 1993 as a baritone saxophone player.  He became the band’s associate conductor in 1995.  Jim resides in Plano, Texas. The Music Director selects the music with input from the Associate Conductor.  They consider a few things when picking out music for the band: a. is the band capable of playing the piece in rehearsal time available? b. Is the music challenging and will the members grow musically from the piece? and c. Will they enjoy performing and the audience enjoy listening to it? The band performs for many different venues, for example, formal concerts in the esteemed Eisemann Center, which allows the band to play more intricate works, to concerts in the park, which is casual and concert goers will bring picnic dinners and children dance and play while the band performs.  They have also participated in the Barnes & Noble “Bookfairs” as a fundraiser.  The band plays summer concerts every other week, with fresh repertoire each time!  One of the summer concerts is always a “Children’s” concert, one is always a “Patriotic” theme, and one is always a swing/big band concert.  Other themes have been “Broadway Favorites,” “A European Stay-cation,” “International Dances,” and recently “Band Member Favorites.”  Some “Band Member Favorites” consisted of: “American River Songs” by Pierre LaPlante, “In the Miller Mood” arranged by Warren Baker, John Philip Sousa’s “King Cotton,” and “Texas Star March” by David Lovrien.  But the band’s favorite piece performed was Steven Reineke’s “Pilatus, Mountain of Dragons” with pipe organ. The band is continually looking for ways to partner with the school in the area.  They recently brought an 11-year-old trumpet prodigy to perform with them and speak with students.  In the Children’s Concert, the band allows the children to “conduct” the band and use the summer concerts in the park as an opportunity for children to see the instruments up close. The Plano Community Band is a proud member of the Association of Concert Bands, an international organization dedicated to the advancement of adult community bands. Check out the website here: Visit the Plano Community Band's website: Thank you, Nancy Michalek for your gathering all of this great information, and helping us set up this Community Band Spotlight!