April 2012 Community Band Spotlight April 17 2012, 0 Comments

North Cascades Concert Band

Contributed by: Alan Baker, Band President

The North Cascades Concert Band was formed in 1995.  The band currently has approximately 55 members.  The senior member is 84 years old and the youngster is 13 years old. Our band director, Lylburn Layer, started in music like many of us, in the fifth grade band.  He played in the Navy Band in the 1950’s and was one of the founding players of the Navy Steel Band. Since leaving the military he went on to college and became a music educator.  Lylburn is now retired and spends his time directing, as well as being a fine performer in the Port Angeles Symphony. The band has five other members that played in military bands, including myself, who played my Navy enlistment during the late sixties in a unit band. April is spring concert month for the Cascades Concert Band, which means it is John Philip Sousa Time.  Normally, every other number in our concert is a Sousa composition.  It is a traditional concert series every spring.  The crowd loves Sousa and we love playing Sousa. The band also travels to Canada every June (this year will be our 3rd time) to perform at the Ladner Band Fest in Ladner , British Columbia.  Ladner Band Fest is a two day event with community bands from all over the province. The band's board of directors is in the process of putting together a scholarship program for a high school student that excels in music and plans a music career after college.  We often feature high school performers as guests at our concerts. The North Cascades Concert Band is very fortunate to have a fine conductor and assistant conductor.  We play pieces that are extremely difficult and require much rehearsing.  We perform pieces by some very impressive composers:  Anderson, Bernstein, Copland, Paganini, Shostakovitch, Sousa, Gershwin and Grainger, just to name a few.  We pride ourselves in giving a solid performance.  Lylburn Layer and his assistant Rob Pattermann do all the music selections.  During our fall concert series we sometimes will do theme concerts:  Show Stoppers, Dances, etc. The North Cascades Concert Band membership is from all over the north west portion of Washington State, from Blaine at the International border to as far south as Mercer Island near Seattle.  Geographically we cover a lot of territory and try to spread our concert venues around to many communities. Visit the band's website.