When the call went out that Pleasant Valley was going to put together an alumni band to help commemorate the school district's 50th anniversary, no one ever expected to receive the overwhelming positive response that they did.
Over 100 former members of Pleasant Valley bands expressed interest in playing for a concert and a schedule of rehearsals was issued. The culmination of their efforts was heard on Saturday, June 4 at a concert held in the PVHS new auditorium with 108 musicians and three conductors making beautiful music.
PV has had three band directors over its 50 years. Floyd Frisbie was the first from 1961-1993 (32 years.) The selections he directed were "Big Blue" by Paul Yoder, "Popcorn" by Kingsley, arranged by Cofield, "The Horse" by James arranged by Moffit and the "Block 'M' Concert March" by Jerry Bilik.
Robert Riday, from 1993 to 1997 (four years) directed the band in "Billy Joel in Concert" by Joel, arranged by Barker, Selections from "Les Miserables" arranged Baker and the Finale from "Star Trek-The Movie."
Riday passed on the conductor's baton to James DeVivo, 1997 to the present (14 years) and he conducted the band in "Amazing Grace" arranged by Tichelli, "Pirates of the Caribbean Suite" by Dadelt arranged by Wasson and "Eye of the Tiger" arranged by Higgings & Lavendar.
"Although all of us (the directors) have different conducting styles, we all share a common love for our students and a genuine desire to see them succeed together," DeVivo says.
As for the alumni band experience, "The band at Pleasant Valley has always been a close knit family. After meeting all of the alumni at the alumni band concert I feel like my family has just grown exponentially," says DeVivo.
"Playing in the Alumni Band gave me another wonderful band memory. Dusting off my clarinet and playing under the direction of Mr. Riday, Mr. DeVivo and Mr. Frisbie was truly an awesome experience. I want to thank the Alumni Band Committee for getting us all together. I especially enjoyed playing for Mr. Frisbie again. He has been a part of my life for 46 years," says Renee Dorshimer Keiper, Class of '75.