Festival Band

The 13th annual Three Rivers Community Band Festival will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016, and again will feature a Festival Band as one of four performing bands. The Festival Band is comprised of players from numerous community bands throughout the region. No audition is necessary; players must only complete a registration form and pay a small fee. The goal of the Festival Band is to include as many players as possible from the widest number of area groups–and to have a great time making music together!

Guest Conductor:

Dr Stephen GageDr. Steve Gage has served as Professor of Conducting and Director of Bands & Orchestra at Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music since 1993. In fall 2014, Dr. Gage was appointed as the conductor of the YSU Dana Symphony Orchestra in addition to his work with the YSU Wind Ensemble, the Dana Chamber Winds & Strings and his position as the head of the MM in Instrumental Conducting program. He holds degrees from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the Eastman School of Music, and the State University of New York at Fredonia where he also earned the Performers Certificate and was a concerto winner. Steve studied conducting with Harry John Brown, Donald Hunsberger, David Effron, Roy Ernst, James Keene, H. Robert Reynolds, and Paul Vermel. In September 2012, Dr. Gage was appointed as the Conductor of the W. D. Packard Concert Band in Warren, Ohio. He begins his 22nd season as the Edward Zacharias Memorial Chair/Conductor of the Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra. Previous teaching positions include serving as Director of Bands & Orchestra at Emporia State University (KS) and as Director of Bands at Auburn High School (NY).

Professor Gage has written numerous published articles on conducting, rehearsal techniques, and wind band literature, and he is an active wind band and orchestral guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator of international repute. He has guest conducted and cliniced high school honor bands and orchestras as well as a number of university wind bands and orchestras throughout the United States. His list of guest conducting appearances includes the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, the U.S. Army Band: “Pershing’s Own”, and the U.S. Army Field Band & Chorus among others. The list also includes experiences in Canada, Ireland, and in 34 states. Dr. Gage has received critical acclaim from a number of distinguished composers, including a number of Pulitzer prize winners: Joseph Schwanter, Carter Pann, John Mackey, Samuel Adler, Karel Husa, Frank Ticheli, John Mackey, Michael Colgrass, Donald Grantham, D.J. Sparr, Jerry Ascione, and David Gillingham for his interpretation and recordings of their music. Steve’s professional affiliations include memberships in the CBDNA, NBA, OMEA/MENC, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Delta Pi, Phi Beta Mu, Sigma Alpha Iota, and Phi Kappa Phi. Dr. Gage has been inducted into the prestigious American Bandmasters and was named as both Distinguished Professor and Faculty Mentor of the Year at YSU; he is currently on the NBA Foundation Board of Directors. In 2012, Gage was awarded the Marty Manning Faculty Mentor Award at the University. Steve and the YSU Wind Ensemble made their Carnegie Hall debut in 2005 and the group has produced seven CD recordings. The sixth CD in this series, Urban Requiem, was released on the NAXOS International Recording Label in June 2008 and the seventh, Old Wine In New Bottles was released by NAXOS in August 2012. Both of these NAXOS recordings have earned critical praise from numerous critical reviewers and represented composers for their artistically convincing performances and musical and technical quality.

Steve lives in Poland, Ohio with his wife, Stephanie, and two of his three
children, Claudia and Brendan. Gage’s son, Matthew, and granddaughter, Zoey, live in Austin, Texas.




Download the Registration Form in your preferred format:
.doc Word file
If you have trouble accessing the files or need a different format, please send us an e-mail at festival@ewsb.org.

Please mail completed forms to:

Three Rivers Community Band Festival
c/o Beverly Barncord
504 Monongahela Ave
Elizabeth Pa 15037

Deadline: Your registration is due by February 15th, and Festival Band acceptance notifications will be emailed to applicants March 1st.

If you do not provide an email address, you will be notified either by phone or US Mail. We are planning for a full, balanced symphonic band that represents as many community bands as possible; although we hope to accept all applicants, this may not be possible for balance reasons.

If you play multiple instruments, please list all you are willing to play in the Festival Band on the registration form. This will help us balance instrumentation as well as enhance the likelihood of your participation.

Fee: There is a $20 fee to cover music costs and breakfast/lunch expenses. If we have to turn you away, we will return your registration fee.

Please include payment with your registration form.

Refunds: If you are unable to play in the Festival Band after being notified of your placement, you have until April 18th to let us know. After that time you will not receive a refund.


To be eligible, you must:

  • Play in a community band
  • Be willing to come to the morning rehearsal (report at 8:30 AM, rehearsal 9 – 11:30 AM)


The following is a rough outline of the day of the festival. Exact times will be posted as they are finalized.

Check-in and Breakfast: Starting at 8:30 am, you may check in and enjoy a light breakfast (included in registration fee) in the cafeteria.

Rehearsal: 9 am to approx. 11:30 am with the guest conductor in the auditorium.

Lunch: A luncheon (included in registration fee) will be held between the Festival Band Rehearsal and the start of the concerts during which musicians can meet, socialize, and discuss issues pertaining to community bands.

Performance: The Festival Band will be performing first at 2:30 pm. If you need to leave after the Festival Band performance, you may, but we hope you will stay to hear the other bands from our region perform!

After-festival Reception: Bands performing in the afternoon are asked to provide cookies (home-made or store-bought) for the reception following the afternoon program. If you wish to bring cookies for the reception, please bring them to the cafeteria during registration prior to rehearsal. Beverages will be provided by the festival committee.

Other information

Attire: bottom: black, top: black, white, or band shirt with logo

Stands: Please bring your own stand.

Part Assignment and Chair Placement: We will try to assign instrumentation and parts based on preferences indicated on your application or on overall balance requirements of the band. Please indicate the part you prefer to play (first, second, etc.), but keep in mind that we may have to rotate parts for different pieces among several players to accommodate all requests.

Accessibility: The stage is wheel chair accessible via a loading elevator in the back. If you require other accommodations, please let us know.

Past Conductors of the Festival Band


Max Gonano elisabeth heath charles
2008 2009
Max Gonano Elisabeth Heath Charles
Denis Colwell Paul Gerlach
2010 2011
Dennis Colwell Paul Gerlach
2012 2013
James Gourlay Sam Hazo
 Marty Sharer Headshot
2014  2015
Don Wilcox  Marty Sharer