ALPHARETTA, Ga. — From the solemnity of Memorial Day to the festivities of the Christmas season, the Alpharetta City Band has been for the community, and of the community, for 30 years.
Since August 8, 1989, the band has been made up of volunteer musicians and has operated as a program of the Alpharetta Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department.
The band is open to all adult musicians and to high school students with the approval of their band director. The group performs 12 concerts each year including Old Soldiers Day, the Old Milton County Fair, the Fourth of July and at various churches, schools and senior centers.
The Alpharetta City Band’s first concert included 25 members and was held at a senior living facility. Today, the band’s concerts typically showcase 45 to 50 musicians, with as many as 65 people playing at one event. Some of the original members of the band still participate today.
“I’m very proud of [the band],” said Don Nahser, who formed the band and has served as program director for 27 years. “I tell people it’s one of my biggest accomplishments.”
Nahser said, who plans to retire from the band next year, will leave some big shoes to fill. Formally or informally, the duties he’s performed will probably require five or six people to fill.
In celebration of the anniversary, the group has commissioned a composition from Brant Karrick, a conductor at Western Kentucky University. Karrick was a friend of the Alpharetta Band’s conductor of 17 years, Bill Haynes, who died in 2016. The commissioned piece will be performed at the band’s two concerts in September.
Alpharetta City Councilman Donald Mitchell, a longtime champion for the arts, said he’s proud to have the band as part of the city.
“They bring a lot of enjoyment to a lot of people, young and old,” Mitchell said. “We just hope they continue to grow and remain a vital part of our city and our arts within the city.”
The band rehearses once a week on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Crabapple Government Center, 12624 Broadwell Road in Alpharetta.
The group relies on volunteer donations to furnish the band with music, equipment and supplies. For more information on the Alpharetta City Band, visit alpharetta.ga.us.