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Music and memories

Colonie Town Band connects area’s musicians with one another, and the community

The Colonie Town Band has roughly 70 members, with 55 players each performance. They perform during the summer and winter holiday season throughout the Capital District at venues like nursing homes, town parks and schools.

The Colonie Town Band has roughly 70 members, with 55 players each performance. They perform during the summer and winter holiday season throughout the Capital District at venues like nursing homes, town parks and schools. Submitted photo

Being in the band

Band members range in age from junior high school students to retirees. The Colonie Town Band currently has 12 veterans and four emergency responders among its members. Occupations are a mix, from state workers to teachers to scientists to lawyers. Many of the members have played their part with the band for more than 25 years, Oppenlander said.

Priscilla Johnson, of Latham, joined the band in 1980 when she moved to the area from Connecticut. Once a French horn player and now a percussionist, Johnson said when she moved she was looking for a community band similar to the one she played with in Connecticut.

“It’s been a lot of fun learning and you keep up with your musical studies. You meet people with the same interests,” Johnson, a retired elementary school teacher, said. “You play great music. Keeps you practicing, too.”

Yanulavich, of Glenmont, played saxophone in high school but took a 25-year hiatus until she heard about the Colonie Town Band. She said she had been using her saxophone as a decorative piece, and decided to pick it up again with the band.

“I dusted off my horn … it was like getting back on a bicycle. You have to get back to speed, but your general ability is still there,” Yanulavich said. “I think it’s a great stress relief.”

Yanulavich said her daughter, who also plays the sax, joined in next to her for several years.

Many of the band members keep busy by also playing in several other local bands, including the Guilderland Town Band and Albany Senior Citizens Orchestra. Seckinger, of Albany, joined in about seven years ago. On top of co-directing and playing with the Colonie Town Band, he also performs with the Air Force National Guard band.

Gearing up to celebrate 50 years

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