Allegany Alumni & Friends Band History
(written by Marcia Wymer, in honor of the band’s 10th Anniversary, summer 2010)
For quite some time, Allegany Central School alumnus, Dave Taylor, had a dream. He had been part of a very special band during high school and dreamed of getting its members back together to play and reminisce.
In the spring of 2000, Dave had a conversation with another ACS alumnus, Marcia Karl Wymer. He shared his idea with her, and the two of them started making plans. Each of them contacted various former band members who were still living in the area and asked them to attend a rehearsal, with the goal of playing in the Old Home Days parade later that year.
At the time, neither of them expected much. They hoped to have a big enough group to cover all the necessary parts, and not embarrass themselves too badly. After all, some of the people they contacted hadn’t played their instruments since they graduated. For some, that was a very long time!
As word spread, people started to get excited, and before long old instruments were being dug out of closets and attics. Noise ordinances all over town were being violated as practicing began with rusty chops.
Questions were raised about where to have rehearsals, and where to find equipment. After many phone calls and e-mails, and with the help of Bill Fancher (Allegany-Limestone High School Band Director) the first rehearsal of the Allegany Alumni and Friends Band took place in the auditorium of the new school.
Dave took on the role of music director for a while, until former band director, Bill Roosa, agreed to step back into the role where he had earned his reputation as the task master responsible for the success of the Allegany Band so many years ago. After a time, the baton was passed to Jason Fox, who continues in that role today.
As the band rolled down the street, pulled by our faithful friends Joan and Charlie (Cha-Chi) Phearsdorf, during the Old Home Days parade, there were many misty eyes along the route. When the band played the old pep rally favorite, Joshua, as they neared the judging area, former cheerleaders were seen doing their old routines on the sidewalk. The crowd went wild, and the dream had been fulfilled.
After the parade, with all the adrenaline still pumping through the veins of the band members, a discussion took place regarding, “what do we do now?”
That was ten years ago. In that time, the band has grown and changed a bit, but it is still going strong, and is still a favorite attraction at many community events and festivities.
Congratulations to the Allegany Alumni and Friends Band on your 10th anniversary. Thank you for the joy you bring to those in your audience, and may you continue the work you do to provide entertainment for our community!