Concert band stays in tune with community

Will play Memorial Day concert to honor fallen soldiers
By: Megan Wood the press tribune
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Where can you find a retired FBI agent, Superior Court judge and three generations all under one roof enjoying the same music? If it’s a Thursday night, you’d know to look at Cooley Middle School in Roseville because that’s where the Roseville Community Concert Band holds its weekly rehearsals. “We truly are a community band,” said current band director Stephanie Sugano. “I can’t think of any other group where so many races, cultures and socio-economic levels are represented.” For grandfather Elton Pamplin, playing in the band is an opportunity to bond with his grandson, Weston Spivey, a seventh-grader and band student at Cooley. Both serious musicians, Pamplin and Spivey often meet outside of rehearsals to practice and learn new music on their own. “Practicing outside of rehearsals gives him a leg up. Keeps his skills honed,” Pamplin said. Retired military band director Bill Hastings established the Community Concert Band almost 10 years ago. When Sugano interviewed for the job in 2007, she had previous experience playing with the Roseville Community Concert Band and was working as a conductor and music instructor at Cooley Middle School. “I went for it looking for a musical challenge, working with adults,”Sugano said. At the time, Sugano was studying for her master’s degree at Sacramento State University and felt she was up for the challenge. The group of more than 40 musicians ranging in age from 12 to 80 can be found playing at a number of community events and locations. Downtown Christmas tree lightings, Little League opening day and the Springfield Retirement community have all hosted live music courtesy of the Roseville Band. “We try to play as many concerts as we can and we’d love to play more,” said Bob Lewis, longtime Roseville Band musician and council president. “All of us just want to get out and play, it’s what we love.” The band typically plays six to 10 events a year including participating in formal concerts like the Carmichael Band Festival and concerts with William Jessup University. “It’s wonderful to be able to bring live music to the community,” said Roseville Band flutist and band council vice president Judy Pinney. “There’s nothing better than live music and so few places to actually find it.” Monday, the band will play at the Roseville Cemetery, providing patriotic accompaniment for the outdoor Memorial Day Celebration. Their song list includes songs like “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “Call for Colors.” “Whenever we play the military songs, whether it’s for Veterans’ Day or Memorial Day there are always tears,” Pinney said. “ I think all band music stirs up strong emotions, that’s why people love it.” To join the Roseville Community Concert Band or for concert information visit