A breath of fresh air  

— Photo from Andrew Dame

Andrew Dame will play a solo on “Stars in a Velvety Sky” with the Guilderland Town Band on Thursday, Aug. 4. The piece is written by American cornet player and composer Herbert L. Clarke.

GUILDERLAND — Altamont native Andrew Dame, 17, will be playing a solo on Thursday, August 4, with the Guilderland Town Band, in its rendition of Herbert L. Clarke’s “Stars in a Velvety Sky.” This performance, at Tawasentha Park’s Guilderland Performing Arts Center, will be the band’s last of the season.

Dame will be featured in this program as the winner of the 2016 Donald E. Webster Scholarship, a $400 award named for the  longtime Guilderland band conductor and music teacher who retired in August 2001.

Dame plans to attend Oberlin College and Conservatory in the fall, for a double degree, in computer science from the college and trumpet performance from the conservatory.

“I’m going to feel it out,” he said of his long-range plans. He may go on to graduate school in either computer science or music, “or I might land a job right out of college.”

Either way, his eventual goal is to find a career path that will combine those interests.

Dame, who graduated this year from Guilderland High School, was principal trumpet player with the Empire State Youth Orchestra, participated in the New York State Summer School of the Arts School of Orchestral Studies, and performed with the All-State Symphonic Band. He went with the Empire State Youth Orchestra in 2016 to Portugal, where it performed in four different cities.

Dame is also an accomplished pianist. He started playing piano when he was 7, and added in the trumpet in fifth grade because he wanted “something different.”

He says that, for him, playing the trumpet is a different feeling from playing the piano.

“It’s like singing,” he said.

Perhaps because his own breath is an essential element, he said, it feels “more personal, more like it’s part of your body.”

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The Guilderland Town Band will perform its last concert of the season on Thursday, Aug. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the bandshell in Tawasentha Park off of Route 146 in Guilderland. In addition to the piece featuring Andrew Dame’s solo trumpet, the band will perform other pieces including a medley of Irving Berlin favorites.

A jazz ensemble formed of members of the band will also perform. Guilderland choir teacher Claudia Feeney will be the guest vocalist performing George and Ira Gershwin’s “Love Is Here to Stay.” The ensemble will also perform “Yardbird Suite” by Charlie Parker, under the direction of Jim Corigliano.

The concert is free and open to the public.

More Guilderland News

  • The May 17 petition filed by Cuyler Court residents William and Colleen Anders claims that, in July 2023, the town’s use of heavy equipment to access “stormwater or water management facilities” caused damage to their driveway and yard, which when combined with Guilderland’s “negligence and failure to maintain certain components” of those facilities, led to “significant flooding” of the Anders’ basement six months later. 

  • Guilderland is on the cusp of forming a District Facilities Committee to map out the district’s next capital project. It will dovetail with work currently underway by a Future Ready Task Force.

  • The legal decision is the fifth in four years to uphold the town’s approval process of what was initially a three-site development proposal from Pyramid for over 200 apartments and townhomes; a 160,000-square-foot warehouse-price club; and only recently, a $55 million 120,000-square-foot regional cancer center. 

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