September 8, 2021 at 7:00pm
Salem United Church of Christ Main & Morgan Streets • Tonawanda, NY
We were delighted to return to our monthly meeting series with a presentation about the American Legion Band of the Tonawandas. A local cultural treasure for over 90 years, we explored its rich history in the Tonawandas.
As a community marching band, they have few rivals. Veteran parade goers can recognize their sound from blocks away. Their crisp, precise, upbeat performance has long been the hallmark of their success. As a volunteer organization comprised of highly skilled dedicated musicians from all walks of life, they are bonded by their love of performing. They have an infectious camaraderie which spills over to spectators. How many of us have enjoyed their spontaneous musical rollicking at the Legion on Main Street after the Canal Fest parade! And remember all the crazy, cavorting of the Clown Band! Such fun!!!
Some noteworthy facts about the band: Organized in 1929, it was an all-male band until 1974, mainly comprised of veterans or sons of veterans. In many cases, belonging is a family tradition - that is if you’ve inherited the requisite musical talent. Total membership is 90 musicians. They have won innumerable state and national championships since the 1930s and have performed at historic venues such as the venerable Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater, Australia’s iconic Sydney Opera House and the piece de resistance - Carnegie Hall in New York City, where they received 3 standing ovations!
Described as “...an organization that has no peer in the United States in its particular type of endeavor: a non-professional, community, symphonic and parade band.”
What makes them so successful? On September 8th band clarinetist and president, David Abrahamian, presented a power point program on the inception and development and unbelievable achievements of our fabulous hometown band: American Legion Band of the Tonawandas.