October, 2015

POTSDAM—The Potsdam Community Band will begin preparations for its annual winter concert with a series of rehearsals beginning Monday, November 2. Initial rehearsals will be held at the Potsdam High School band room from 7:00-9:00 pm.

The band, now in its sixth year, is under the direction of Theresa Witmer. Membership is open to all adult musicians who can play a standard band instrument at least at a high school level. The band strives to maintain a healthy balance of fun with the challenge of playing to the best of each member’s musical ability. High school players are also welcome with a parent/guardian note and permission from their school band director.

Rehearsals for the winter concert, which is scheduled for Sunday, January 17, 2016 at SUNY Potsdam’s Hosmer Concert Hall, will be held Mondays, November 2, 11, 16 and 30, December 14 and January 11, with a dress rehearsal on Thursday, January 14.

The PCB is coming off a very satisfying summer concert season, which featured the band’s traditional performance at the Potsdam Summer Festival and it’s first-ever engagement at the annual Lake George Community Band Festival. There, the locals were joined by nine other community-based ensembles from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Ontario.

January 2014 Press Release

Potsdam Community Band Concert this Sunday in Hosmer

The Potsdam Community Band will play a concert in Hosmer Hall, SUNY Potsdam, this Sunday, January 19 at 3 pm. The performance includes music for all ages and features music by Robert Washburn as well as a tribute to Rosa Parks to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Admission is free.

The 65-piece ensemble will perform the rousing opener by Alfred Reed, A Jubilant Overture, which will be followed by the beautiful Three Ayres from Gloucester by Hugh Stuart.

The next piece is by Potsdam’s own Robert Washburn, who passed away 2 months ago at the age of 85. Dr. Washburn, a graduate of the Crane School of Music, enlisted in the US Air Force during the Korean Conflict. His military service included duty as chief arranger for the Air Force Band of the West and the Air Force Sinfonietta, and he spent a year as a member of the San Antonio Symphony. Following his military service, Dr. Washburn returned to Potsdam where he joined the faculty (and later became Dean) of the Crane School of Music at the invitation of Helen Hosmer. In 1980 he was commissioned to compose music for the opening ceremonies of the Lake Placid Winter Olympics, which were broadcast over ABC, CBC and BBC television. His music has been performed all over the world, and Potsdam Community Band is thrilled to perform a 1962 composition of his entitled Pageantry.

A Movement for Rosa was written in 1992 by Mark Camphouse, and the piece is a tribute to Rosa Parks. It contains three contrasting sections. The first section evokes Rosa’s early years, from her birth in 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama, through her marriage in 1932 to Raymond Parks. Section two portrays years of racial strife in Montgomery and the quest for social equality. The third section is one of quiet strength and serenity. The hymn, “We Shall Overcome” is heard in its entirety near the end. The work’s final measures serve as an ominous reminder of racism’s lingering presence in modern American society.

Lighter moments in the program feature music from Les Miserables, Holiday for Flutes by David Rose, Satchmo! A Tribute to Louis Armstrong (a piece our SummerFest audience loved so much we’re playing it again), and marches by John Philip Sousa and Leroy Anderson.

Potsdam Community Band, directed by Theresa Witmer, is open to all those who play a band instrument. The group plays 2 – 3 concerts each year; the next concert will be during Potsdam’s 2014 SummerFest. Anyone interested in playing with the band can visit the website,, or contact PCB’s Personnel Manager, Ron Berry, at 265-2883.


January 2011 Press Release


The Potsdam Community Band will present a holiday concert on Saturday, January 8, at 3 p.m. in Hosmer Hall at the Crane School of Music. The concert is free to all; however, donations will be cheerfully accepted.

The program will include a family-friendly mixture of holiday and secular music to delight all ages. Featured will be a medley from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” arranged by Larry Clark, Alfred Reed’s “Russian Christmas Music,” “Assembly,” a concert march by Potsdam composer Arthur Frackenpohl, and Brant Karrick’s “Bayou Breakdown.” The program will also include perennial favorites “Shenandoah,” “Sleigh Ride,” and a few more Christmas-themed pieces with melodies familiar to all. The band will also reprise last summer’s rendition of Leroy Anderson’s very popular “Bugler’s Holiday.”

The Potsdam Community Band was reestablished this past summer by several local residents who wanted to provide more musical opportunities for avocational adult musicians in the area. To everyone’s surprise, over 80 musicians responded to the call, from college professors to beginners, including many who had taken up their instruments for the first time in years. The band’s first concert was held at the 2010 Potsdam Summer Festival, and the second was held on the Potsdam High School lawn early in September.

The band is under the direction of Potsdam High School Band Director Theresa Witmer and rehearses at the high school, courtesy of the Potsdam Central School District. This is a unique group of individuals, and the members are proud to be part of Potsdam’s celebrated musical heritage.

Anyone interested in joining the band should contact the Personnel Manager, Ron Berry, at 265-2883.

North Country Now – 1/10/2011
North Country Now – 1/7/2011 – with picture!
North Country Now – 1/1/2011
North Country Now – 11/1/2010
The Ogdensburg Journal – 6/7/2010
Daily Courier Observer – Community Band Gives Back to Music at PCS – 9/17/2010
Daily Courier Observer – Potsdam Musicians Ready for Round Two – 8/27/2010
Daily Courier Observer – Potsdam Community Band Comes Back – 5/19/2010
Daily Courier Observer – Potsdam Community Band Seeks Summer Musicians – 4/29/2010