Fall Concert 2017
Yessica Gallagher, Conductor
|American Overture for Band||Joseph Wilcox Jenkins
Tune from County Derry
|The Vanished Army||Kenneth J. Alford|
|Sea Songs||Ralph Vaughan Williams|
||John P. Zdechlik
|English Folk Song Suite||Ralph Vaughan Williams|
|The Thunderer March
||John Philip Sousa
Future Concert Dates
The Woodside Village Band
The Woodside Village Band (WVB) is composed of amateur musicians from the communities of the San Francisco Peninsula. The group was organized in 1988 with the goal of bringing the music of the wind ensemble and the concert band to the local community. It meets weekly to rehearse music for concerts which are performed every few months at indoor and outdoor concerts. Rehearsals are on Monday evenings, from 7:30 to 9:30 PM in the Woodside Village Church, 3154 Woodside Road, Woodside (bring a music stand and see the directions below). All rehearsal and performance time is donated by the players. Membership is open to all interested musicians, who need not be residents of the town of Woodside.
The history of the Woodside Village Band began in the Spring of 1988, at the end of the run of "The Music Man," a production by the Woodside Players and George Sellman to benefit the Woodside School Foundation. After a schedule of strenuous rehearsals and successful performances, the players in the orchestra didn't want it to end. Some of them asked the conductor, Richard Gordon, if there wasn't some way to make the small pit orchestra the core of some permanent musical organization.
It was probably inevitable that, having originated with "The Music Man," the new group would be a band, not a chamber orchestra or other string ensemble. To find all the musicians necessary for a full concert band, Mr. Gordon recruited players from all parts of the San Francisco Peninsula (and beyond), promising them a chance to play challenging music for a possibly non-existent audience for no money. They came, anyway. The Woodside School offered its music room for rehearsals. The Woodside Community Foundation gave a donation to defray the cost of sheet music until the first concert could bring in paying customers.
The first concert was held on August 6, 1988, at the Woodside Village Church (no relation). The program opened with Shostakovich and ended with Wagner, with Gustav Holst, William Schuman, and John Philip Sousa in between. The Audience was shocked, surprised, and finally delighted at the quality of music performed by the new group. Since then, attendance at the Band's concerts has grown steadily, as first-time concertgoers bring friends to subsequent events. In 1989, the Band played for the pre-game ceremonies at Woodside Night at Candlestick Park, ensuring a win for the San Francisco Giants over the Houston Astros. Free outdoor concerts have been given in the summer at the natural amphitheater of the Woodside School.
In the 1880's, a much smaller America supported over 100,000 bands in cities, towns, and villages throughout the country. The automobile, movies, and finally radio ended that chapter in American musical history; today, it's a rare community that can boast of its own band. Woodside is that kind of place.
"When we see a town with flourishing public enterprises, such as newspapers, schools, libraries, picture galleries, literary and scientific societies, concert halls, theaters, Brass Bands, etc., we need not be told that it is the dwelling place of intelligent and cultivated people, for in all these institutions supported by its inhabitants we recognize the unfailing indications of culture and refinement, and, on the other hand in a place where the newspapers are poor and badly patronized, where the churches and school-houses show broken windowpanes, dilapidated fences, weather stained, paintless walls and gates off their hinges, where there is no theater, no literary societies, no Band and no musicians, in such a place the stranger can see at a glance that enterprise, public spirit and vital energy are wanting in the people. In this age the horn blowing organizations are recognized as essential elements in the great march of popular enlightenment, and a town that can not sound its own trumpet, but must send out and hire assistance from its neighbors on all public occasions, can not lay claim to having reached a very high standard of advancement."
G. F. Patton
"A Practical Guide to the Arrangement of Band Music", 1875
Richard Gordon (1948 - 2016) directed the Woodside Village Band since 1988 and conducted the orchestra for the productions of the Woodside Players since 1987. A free-lance design engineer, Mr. Gordon lived in the Bay Area since 1980 with his wife and two daughters. In common with the late Gerard Hoffnung (a graphic artist and tuba player), Mr. Gordon's creative activities spanned the two worlds of music and commerce. His engineering friends considered him a fine conductor, while his musician acquaintances believed him to be an excellent engineer.
The Woodside Village Band is adding musicians to our group. We particularly need people in our Flute, Clarinet, and Percussion sections. Additional openings are available. Auditions are not required. Additional information about the band, our rehearsal venue, and history can be found below. Please contact the Webmaster, if you have any interest, or attend one of our rehearsals and concerts and talk with the conductor and members.
An inverse chronological listing of music performed by the Woodside Village Band.
Map of Woodside. The Woodside Village Church, where the band rehearses, is across the street from the school. (87 KB)
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