UH Symphonic Band welcomes new members
This month, the University Heights Symphonic Band begins its 47th year as a community ensemble and its second year under the direction of Matthew Salvaggio, who is also music director for the Hiram College Wind Ensemble and music librarian/staff arranger for the Cleveland Pops Orchestra. Sponsored by the City of University Heights, the 45-member band draws musicians from throughout Northeast Ohio. The band’s diverse membership includes professional musicians, along with engineers, homemakers, professors, nurses and others—even a rocket scientist. From students in their 20s to retirees in their 90s, they are drawn together by their love of music.
The University Heights Symphonic Band began in 1970 as a summer-season performing group under the direction of Harvey Sisler. Organized under the auspices of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education, the band initially rehearsed and performed at Wiley Middle School. In 1974, the band adopted a year-round schedule, University Heights became its sponsor and it moved to John Carroll University (JCU). Fourteen years later, the band moved back to Wiley Middle School, until the school closed in 2014 to become the temporary home of Cleveland Heights High School. The ensemble now holds its rehearsals at Roxboro Middle School and its summer concerts at JCU.
The band plays a variety of music, including classic wind ensemble repertoire from many prominent composers, adaptations of classical pieces, marches, medleys from Broadway musicals or Hollywood film scores, and holiday tunes. Members enjoy the band’s emphasis on lifelong development of musicianship.
The band periodically plays concerts in the fall, winter and spring, but its primary performing season is summer, mainly in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland. In addition to several concerts on the quad at JCU, the band also performs at community bandshells, auditoriums, churches, synagogues, and senior centers throughout Greater Cleveland. It is always interested in learning about opportunities for booking new venues.
The ensemble welcomes new members and holds open auditions throughout the year. Rehearsals are on Thursdays, 7:30–9:15 p.m., at Roxboro Middle School, September through May. To learn more, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, visit http://uhsb.org, or follow the band on Facebook.
Mark Souther is a professor of history at Cleveland State University. He lives in Cleveland Heights with his wife, Stacey, and their daughter, Keely, and he plays trumpet in the University Heights Symphonic Band.