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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 21, 2009

Park, band, and arts center all celebrate milestones

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — Three Guilderland entities are observing anniversaries this year, and one big gala will celebrate them all.

Tawasentha Park, the Guilderland Town Band, and the Guilderland Performing Arts Center will hit milestones in 2009 — the park and the band, established in 1969, will turn 40, and the GPAC, founded in 1979, is turning 30.

Tawasentha Park “is an awesome place, and there is something for everyone to do,” said Dennis Moore, director of Parks and Recreation. Moore has been an integral part of Parks and Recreation for over 30 years.

The park consists of almost 200 acres of land, and includes a pool, tennis courts, picnic areas, and trails. The town band and GPAC are tied in with the park, as GPAC is located there, and the town band performs three free concerts at GPAC every summer.

The band was originally formed by the Parks and Recreation Department, and currently has over 100 members, with a wide range of ages. Moore said the band attracts over 500 audience members to its summer shows. “They are wonderful family events,” he said.

The town band hosts three free concerts at GPAC each summer, and this summer, to celebrate its 40th anniversary, it will hold a special concert on Aug. 6.  Conducted by Kathleen Richards-Ehlinger, the band will play an original score, “Voyage,” composed by James Corigliano, to honor the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage in the Halfmoon and discovery of Cape May.

GPAC was built 30 years ago by volunteers who wanted to have a good place to hold outdoor music events in the evening. It started out as a platform, but was built up to include walls, an overhang, and lighting, as it attracted more people and got more funding over the years, said Moore.

“It’s such a great way to spend a Thursday night,” Moore said of the GPAC free concerts, 10 to 12 of which will be held this summer.

The gala to celebrate the three anniversaries will be held at 6 p.m. on June 12 at Mallozzi’s Clubhouse. Donald Webster, the band’s founder and first conductor, and Mona Golub, a long-time GPAC member and supporter, will be honored.


Reservations for the gala, with payment, are being accepted at the Parks and Recreation office at 181, Route 146, or by calling 456-3150. Tickets for the event are $35 per person.

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For information on the GPAC series lineup, go to the town’s website,www.townofguilderland.org.