The Advocate

Newsletter for The Music Education Community of Western PA

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The Return of Community Bands

Community bands have existed in the United States since the 19th century, with most small towns and cities having a band for events and concerts. This tradition has been upheld today with over 150 community bands in Pennsylvania alone. Community Bands serve an important role as they provide musicians an opportunity to play and entertain the public. Community bands also offer an educational benefit to the public: they remind people of the music of the past by playing classical and traditional American music.

Due to the pandemic, community bands have been limited in their opportunities to perform and rehearse. Many of these bands were gatherings that the musicians looked forward to socially and were a motivator to practice their instruments. In many ways, the bands these musicians played in were a meaningful part of their lives, which they lost during the pandemic.

As school music programs are beginning a new school year, with thousands of kids from around Pittsburgh learning to play an instrument, community bands exemplify how learning to play an instrument can become a lifelong hobby. While most school music students will not become professional musicians, they will enrich their lives by playing in a school ensemble, where they will experience the joy of making music and making friends they collaborate with and see regularly. This is what adult musicians experience in playing in a community band, which band members do into their nineties, in some cases.

Thankfully, now that the pandemic has been lifted, many community bands have resumed playing concerts and rehearsing.

Below are dates and more information for a few of Pittsburgh’s Community Bands from each part of Pittsburgh. These are only a few community bands in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area. More can be found in this list, published by the PMEA.

North Pittsburgh Symphonic Band

The North Pittsburgh Symphonic Band rehearses on Mondays, from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM at North Hills Middle School, located at 55 Rochester Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15229.

Their upcoming concert schedule and information on joining can be found on their website, at

Community Band South

Community Band South rehearses on Monday evenings, from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM, at Upper St. Clair High School Band Room, located at 1825 McLaughlin Run Road, Pittsburgh, PA, 15241.

Their upcoming concert schedule and information on joining can be found on their website, at

East Winds Symphonic Band

The East Winds Symphonic Band rehearses on Mondays from 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM, at St. John’s Cathedral Center, located at 210 Greentree Road, Munhall, PA 15120.

Their upcoming concert schedule and information on joining can be found on their website, at

West Hills Symphonic Band

The West Hills Symphonic Band rehearses on Sundays at Montour High School, located at 223 Clever Road, McKees Rocks, PA 15136, from 2:00 PM - 4:15 PM.

Their upcoming concert schedule and information on joining can be found on their website, at

Pittsburgh's Own Dr. Emmett Goods to Teach a Master Class at JMC's Trombone Day

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While attending the International Trombone Festival this summer, Bob Johnstonbaugh and Joe Weinzierl met Dr. Emmett Goods while exploring the exhibits at the festival.

Dr. Goods is a Pittsburgh native, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Rhode Island, and an active and highly experienced professional trombone player.

As Joe Weinzierl was exploring the festival, Dr. Goods stopped Joe after noticing the Johnstonbaugh’s logo on his shirt. He told Joe how he bought his first new trombone (a Conn 8H) from Johnstonbaugh’s Music Centers when he was 19. Joe found Bob and reintroduced him to Dr. Goods so he could hear how a young musician that he sold an instrument to had grown into a successful musician and educator. Bob and Dr. Goods started catching up, which led to Bob inviting him to JMC’s upcoming Trombone Day to teach a master class.

Dr. Goods has an expansive career which all started in Pittsburgh. Goods attended Rogers Middle School for the Creative and Performing Arts and CAPA High School, where he was taught by prominent Pittsburgh Jazz Drummer, Roger Humphries. As a young student, Dr. Goods was involved in Pittsburgh’s All-City Jazz programs, including the Junior River City Brass Band, the Carnegie Mellon Jazz Band, and All-Star Jazz Band, and he played in the Mellon Jazz Festival. Dr. Goods also studied with many of Pittsburgh’s prominent trombone players, including Harry Stevens, Matty Shiner, Jay Ashby, and Carl Jackson. He also started gigging professionally while in high school.

After high school, Dr. Goods attended the Berklee School of Music for a year and then the Hart School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut. He studied under Phil Wilson while at Berklee, and it was Wilson who suggested that he start playing a Conn 8H instead of an 88H, which he was playing at the time.

Dr. Goods took his advice, and when he returned home from his first year of college, he went to Johnstonbaugh’s to buy his 8H. Dr. Goods graduated from the Hart School of Music with a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies, studying under legendary trombonist Steve Davis. Dr. Goods later received a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from Georgia State University and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Trombone Performance from West Virginia University.

As a performer, Dr. Goods has shared the stage with a wide variety of artists from all different genres of music. In Jazz, he has performed with Dr. Billy Taylor, Eddie Harris, Louie Bellson, Avery Sharpe, Wycliffe Gordon, and Roger Humphries, to name a few. He has performed with the Four Tops, Aretha Franklin, and Gladys Knight for pop music. In Latin music, he has performed with Ismael Miranda, Kevin Caballo, Domingo Quinones, Tony Vega, and Yomo Torro. Dr. Goods is also a performing member of the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra.

As of last week, Dr. Goods recorded his first solo album, which is due for release in 2023.

Dr. Goods also has an expansive educational career. After obtaining his undergrad, Dr. Goods started classroom teaching and tutoring for the East Hartford Public Schools, the Carver School for the arts in Atlanta, GA, and the Miller Magnet School for the Arts in Macon, GA. From 2009 to 2011, Dr. Goods was the Assistant Director of Bands and Brass Instructor at Benedict College in Columbia, SC. He also served as the assistant band director at the Urban Pathways Charter School in Pittsburgh for grades 6 to 12 and was the general music teacher for grades K to 5 from 2011 to 2015. He was an adjunct professor at Goodwin College from 2014 to 2017 and served as a visiting professor at Springfield College from the academic year 2016 to 2017. He acted as a lecturer in Jazz at the University of Rhode Island starting in 2017, and in 2020 became the assistant professor of music and director of jazz studies.

Dr. Goods will teach a master class in Jazz Trombone Improvisation at

Johnstonbaugh's Music Center’s Trombone Day on November 19, 6:00 PM, at Johnstonbaugh's Allison Park Store.

Auditioning Tips from Michael Buckstein

JMC private instructor, Michael Buckstein, is an experienced educator and performer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His own education includes a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Education Degree in Music Education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP).

As an educator, Michael has maintained a private trumpet and horn studio since 2018, with many of his students making honors bands. Also, Michael was the Assistant Director of the Plum High School Band, and currently Michael is the Director of Bands in the Mt. Pleasant Area School District.

As a performer Michael participated in many ensembles through his college alma maters and these days can be found playing repiano cornet in the Allegheny Brass Band.

JMC asked Michael what his advice was for auditioning; here is what he had to say:

1. In order to do your best at your audition, you must know the piece inside and out! You should confidently know the piece and be able to play it at least a few weeks before the audition. Unpreparedness breeds nervousness, and the more unprepared you feel, the more nervous you will be.

2. Get comfortable performing the piece or excerpt from top to bottom with no stops. Even if you know the piece well, having a lot of starts and stops in an audition will reflect poorly on you. Mistakes will happen; if you make a mistake, let it go and keep going. Don't let one mistake ruin the whole piece, as there is so much more music to be made!

3. Get comfortable performing in front of people. As we start to approach a post-pandemic world, many auditions will return to in-person formats. Perform your audition piece for friends, family, your band director, or others that you trust. Sometimes it is harder to perform for someone you know than a random judge! If you can play your piece well in front of someone that you know, that will bode well for your audition.

4. Play as musically as possible! Musicality is everything. As a band director and someone who has judged auditions before, I would much rather hear an audition that is full of passion and musicality than a soulless, technically perfect performance that lacks conviction and musicality.

Westminster College's 2022 Brass Extravaganza

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Johnstonbaugh's Music Centers is proud to be the featured vendor at Westminster College's 2022 Brass Extravaganza on Saturday, October 29th from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

The day will include a series of performances and classes, including a master class from

Dr. Brianne Borden, CEO of Yoga For All Musicians and Professor of Trumpet at State University of New York, Potsdam. The day will also include a master class and recital from S.E. Shires, Signature Artist, and world-class trombonist Marshall Gilkes.

The day is open to all high school and college brass students.

Below is a schedule of the day:

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM


10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Welcome & Group Warm up

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Dr. Brianne Borden master class

Integrating Mindfulness into Your Practice Sessions

11:30 AM - 12:15 PM

Lunch and vendor time

12:15 PM - 1:00 PM

Westminster College Faculty Brass Quintet

Chamber Music Performance

1:10 PM - 2:10 PM

Marshall Gilkes master class

2:15 PM - 2:55 PM

Master classes with Westminster College Faculty

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Marshall Gilkes Recital

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Issued September 2022

Newsletter by Joe Weinzierl and Dennis Emert