Concert Schedule
Past Concerts
The Woodside Village Band

Membership Roster
The Conductor
Maps and Directions

Musicians Wanted

The Woodside Village Band is adding musicians to our group.  We particularly need people in our Bassoon, Trumpet 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 director and members.

Concert Schedule

End of Summer Concert

Saturday, September 1, 2007, 3 PM
Holy Trinity Church
330 Ravenswood Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025

The concert order may differ from the following

Title Composer/Arranger
Amazing Grace Frank Ticheli
The Pirates of Penzance, Overture Arthur Sullivan/Robert O'Brien
Fantasy on "America" Arranged by Warren Barker
Broadway Center Stage Arranged by Paul Murtha
Chester, Overture for Band William Schuman
The Strenuous Life Scott Joplin / Alfred Reed
Gershwin on Broadway George Gershwin/John Moss
and marches!  

Past Concerts

The Woodside Village Band

Woodside Village Band - May 2007

Note:  While the Woodside Elementary School is being remodeled, we will be rehearsing at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 333 Ravenswood Avenue, Menlo Park, CA.  Rehearsals are from 7:30 to 9:30 PM in the church.

The Woodside Village Band 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 Band Room of the Woodside Elementary School, 3195 Woodside Road, Woodside (see 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 are 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


More Photos

The Conductor

Richard Gordon has directed the Woodside Village Band since 1988 and has conducted the orchestra for the productions of the Woodside Players since 1987. A free-lance design engineer , Mr. Gordon has 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 span the two worlds of music and commerce. His engineering friends consider him a fine conductor, while his musician acquaintances believe him to be an excellent engineer.


An inverse chronological listing of music performed by the Woodside Village Band.


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Last Updated:  22 July 2007
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