Our Town: Alpharetta

Town band seeks new members

Information: www.alpharettaband.com, 770-475-9684.

For 25 years, Alpharetta’s Don Nahser has been part of what he considers one of his city’s best-kept secrets.

“Yes, Alpharetta has a city band,” he said. “I know it’s surprising to a lot of people. But we’ve been meeting every week and taking music to various locations and facilities for that long.”

Nahser, who has lived in Alpharetta since 1973, organized the group after spending 10 years with the North Fulton Community Band.

“It happened because the parks and recreation director at the time really wanted Alpharetta to have its own band, and even though I knew nothing about organizing them, I drew up a proposal and got other musicians to help me,” he said. “We first met in the old gym behind City Hall, which was acoustically terrible, and over the years we moved to different places. But for the last 14 years or so, we’ve been rehearsing from 7:30 to 9:30 on Wednesday nights at the at the Crabapple government center on Broadwell Road.”

Along with finding a permanent rehearsal space, the band has grown. From a small cluster of 17 members, the group has expanded to about 55 area residents who all share a passion for music.

“We have engineers, college professors, school teachers, a legal secretary and a fair number of retired people,” said Nahser. “Some of our original players are still with us. But we’re always looking for new members who love to play.”

The repertoire leans toward the popular and classical, Nahser said.

“We play what your high school band played for its spring concert. It’s not marching band music, though we do a lot of marches and patriotic concerts, along with a lot of show tunes. It’s traditional, classic band music that you don’t usually hear on a football field.”

Nahser, who acts as the program supervisor, schedules appearances at city functions and local senior living centers. “We always play for Flag Day celebrations, at Wills Park on the Fourth of July and for the Old Soldiers Day events in August,” he said. “And every December we have a holiday concert at the Alpharetta adult activity center.”

Right now, the band is looking for new players to join the ranks. Though musical ability is required, it’s also important to want to have fun, Nahser said.

“We do provide a service by having musical programs that enhance the lifestyle of the community,” he said. “But it’s also a lot of fun.”