Three Rivers Festival Showcases Bands' Comissioned Works

By Karlovits, Bob | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 3, 2007 | Go to article overview

Three Rivers Festival Showcases Bands' Comissioned Works


Karlovits, Bob, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Two area community bands got special results when they commissioned works for themselves.

Community Band South ended up with a work that virtually expresses its motto, "Music Is for Life," while the Somerset County Community Band got a composition tied to one of the area's most- notable moments, the crash of United Airlines Flight 93.

The bands will perform those works at the fourth annual Three Rivers Community Band Festival on Sunday. The festival features five regional bands in an effort to display the quality and variety done by these nonprofessional organizations, says Roger Schneider, one of the co-founders of the East Winds Symphonic Band.

Dean Streator, the Bethel Park resident who co-leads Community Band South, is excited about the commissioned work.

"It was really a neat experience," he says. Streator, fellow leader Jim Bennett, of Upper St. Clair, and members of the band all chipped in to commission English band-music ace Philip Sparke for "Music for Life."

Jim Croft, director of the Somerset band, is as enthusiastic about "Flight of Valor," which band members commissioned as a surprise for Croft. That work was done by James Swearingen, a nationally known composer-educator who teaches at Capitol University in Columbus, Ohio.

It is an orchestral look at the crash of the airliner seized back by passengers during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Those two works will be the featured presentations by their bands, but each ensemble will be presenting compositions their directors hope symbolize the bands and what they do. …

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