Following concerts on back-to-back nights at home and in Closter this past weekend, the Waldwick Band is returning for its 2015-2016 season, beginning with Baronfest at the Von Steuben House in River Edge on Sept. 20.
One of New Jersey's most active ensembles, the Waldwick Band
this summer took the award for Best Musical Group on a Float at Ridgewood's Fourth of July Parade for the 11th time in 13 years.
The non-profit volunteer group plays 20 or so concerts a year, many at the Village School and the Waldwick Oval amphitheater and throughout Bergen County.
Organizers call their repertoire, drawn from a 1,500-composition library, "an eclectic mix of fine music selected from original compositions for concert band, orchestral transcriptions, music from the Broadway stage and film scores, big band favorites and great marches."
Members range from high schoolers to retirees.
Dr. Walter Nallin, a professor of music at City University of New York's Baruch College, assembled the group in 1954 as the Waldwick Fire Department Band at a time when many local fireouses organized marching ensembles for parades.
Nalling used several area players from former local bands -- including Waldwick's Italian Band, which flourished in the 1930's, and the Postal Carriers' Band.
In 1968, the band reorganized as the Community Band of Waldwick, Inc.
It continued parade and concert appearances, including frequent Friday night performances at what was then the Bergen Mall in Parmus.
In 1992, a smaller German band called the Teutonic Knights was added.
The group continues to perform at concerts, Octoberfests, and in venues where a smaller ensemble works best. That includes Baronfest, a birthday celebration for Major-General Baron von Steuben -- General George Washington's chief of staff during the Revolutionary War -- at his former estate at New Bridge Landing.
MORE INFO: The Waldwick Band
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