Valley Concert Band brings music, memories
Twenty years ago, Roland Terry was performing in Pleasanton when he was struck with an idea.
He gathered a group of his fellow musicians and pitched an idea: They would come together to create a concert band that would perform throughout the Central Valley.
Bob Stover, the band manager and a percussionist, still remembers the hotel where he and other musicians signed on to Terry’s idea.
“A lot of the band members have been with it for 20 years. They’re charter band members, and they’re still playing,” said Corinne Terry, the president of the band’s board and wife of Roland Terry. “They really enjoy it — it’s like a family.”
When Roland Terry passed away in 2003, conductor Chris Anderson stepped up to fill his place and keep the band going until his own untimely passing in December 2016.
Now, 20 years after that fateful Pleasanton meeting, the Valley Concert Band will celebrate both conductors at a concert on Sunday.
“One piece will be dedicated to Roland Terry; it’s called ‘Heathwood Overture,’” Stover said.
But another piece the band will perform, in honor of Anderson, is entirely new.
The band commissioned the piece, “To Create a Voice,” from Carol Brittin Chambers, a San Antonio-based composer who teaches at Texas Lutheran University.
“It’s really a nice tribute to him. The band was really happy to hear it,” Corinne Terry said.
Chambers’ sister, Ruth Brittin, is a member of the band and director of music education at University of the Pacific.
Anderson, who served as conductor of the concert band for nearly 14 years, proved an able leader.
Roland Terry had been a member of the Scottish Rite, and was able to secure funding from the group in the band’s early days. After he passed, Anderson went out and scheduled paid concerts for the band, which is made up of professional musicians.
Under his leadership, the Valley Concert Band played all over, including in Lodi. They play regularly at Victory Park in Stockton, too.
Anderson also helped to continue the band’s scholarship program. The band sponsors a couple of deserving students each year so they can get 10 music lessons with teachers from University of the Pacific.
“Right now, we have given out 39 scholarships,” Corinne Terry said.
A few of them have gone on to continue learning and playing music. One has become a music teacher, and another played with the Valley Concert Band for a time, she said.
“We were real pleased that our help was the beginning of helping them go up the ladder with their musical ability,” she said.
Stover remembered Anderson and Roland Terry as wonderful musicians and people.
“They loved music, and they kept us together,” he said.
In addition to the two pieces in honor of Anderson and Terry, the audience at Sunday’s concert can expect to hear the march “Semper Fidelis” by John Philip Sousa, Chick Corea’s jazz fusion piece “Spain,” songs from the Broadway musical “Les Miserables” and a few other traditional tunes.
“We play a variety of music, so the concert will have a lot of different styles,” Stover said.
The concert will be about an hour long.
Chambers will also visit Lodi to hear the world premiere of “To Create a Voice,” Terry said.
“It’s going to be a fun program, a little of something for everybody,” Stover said.