The Washington County Band, has been active for well over 30 years in New York and neighboring Vermont. Since its beginning, the Washington County Band has grown steadily, both in size and musicianship. The name may be a little misleading, since the 40-some members hail from not only Washington County, but Warren, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties – and many from Vermont as well.
The group rehearses every Tuesday evening from May through August and performs an average of eight concerts in various local venues during each season.
The WCB has proven to be a very good stepping stone for students during summer vacation. The opportunity to play music with more experienced musicians – and have fun at the same time – is invaluable. Members’ ages range from 18 to 80! All members are volunteers. Concert proceeds go toward the purchase of new music, as well as for an annual scholarship given to a promising local student planning for a career in music.
The Washington County Band has a varied repertoire, consisting of marches, show tunes, ballads, big band medleys, Latin tunes and old favorites. Here are some samples of our playing from previous concerts:
Holst Suite for Military Band
The band is presently under the direction of Paul Kafer, who has taught in higher education and public schools for 34 years.
Paul has studied conducting with the eminent maestros Mallory Thompson, Frank Battisti, and Jeffrey Renshaw. Paul was recently the guest conductor in Vermont for the District II Wind Ensemble, Green Mountain Festival, Lakes Region Honors Festival, and adjudicated at the Vermont Music Educators Association Concert Band Festival. Other guest appearances included work with the Rockland County All-County Band, the Bergen County Senior All-County Band, the New Jersey Region I Junior Band, and the High Notes Music Festival.
Paul completed his doctorate work (ABD) in music education at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. He received his Master of Music in Applied Bassoon from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts as a full scholarship winner and was awarded his Bachelor of Music in Applied Bassoon from University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he was a member of the scholarship quintet.
Paul was honored in 2002 by being named Bergen County Teacher of the Year, New Jersey State Finalist for Teacher of the Year, Fair Lawn High School Teacher of the Year, and he was a finalist for the Princeton University Distinguished Secondary School Teaching Award.
Paul’s wife, Danielle is a veterinary technician, and his two children – Maria and Jeremy – are in medicine and construction respectively; they are true inspirations in his life. Other interests include raising horses, gardening, writing, hiking, and working his 20-acre homestead.
For more information about the Washington County Band, call 518-854-9339.