The Northwest Concert Band

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Phyllis Oyersm

Phyllis Oyer

In 1999 Phyllis Oyer was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by GPAS. NWCB 9pssm Cert


This “framework” refers to the band, choir and orchestra that Phyllis created for junior and senior high school and college students in the Charlotte/Greece area, between the years 1963 and 1967. In effect, she had framed a GPAS for students. When Phyllis “retired” from this activity, her musical groups ceased as well. Soon after, Bob Holtz, Director of Continuing Education for the Greece Central Schools, and Roy Thrall, one of the music educators whose help Phyllis had enlisted, spear-headed a move to create a society that would be an umbrella for any Greece resident who wanted to perform music. The Greece Performing Arts Society was the result.

This page shows how Phyllis had enlisted the aid of many local music educators as well as aspiring musicians amongst the student population, to provide incredible musical experiences for the performers and the general public who enjoyed their concerts.




In addition to Ken Waide and Paul Tomasick, mentioned in the article above, Phyllis was greatly assisted by Tom Saul, a classmate of Brian Oyer at Charlotte, who had just completed his freshman year at the State University of New York at Fredonia, majoring in music. Tom auditioned players, assigned chairs, and conducted rehearsals.



NWCB 3pssm

Phyllis insisted on recording as many concerts as possible. A reel-to-reel tape recorder was carried to each venue, and someone was found to push the buttons. The recordings usually were of somewhat dubious quality, and while none of the performances were perfect, parts of them were excellent! The recordings show the level of performance, which grew every year.

(Depending on your internet speed, it may take a minute or two for each piece to buffer.)

These pieces were recorded at a rehearsal with Ken Waide at the Charlotte Community Center, in the old Charlotte fire house (current home of Hose 22 restaurant).

American Patrol March


The Sound of Music (Pt. 1)


The Sound of Music (Pt. 2)




Robert Moran, music teacher at John Marshall High School, worked with the band in 1964. A favorite venue for concerts was the Rotary Sunshine Camp. The following pieces were performed at the Sunshine Camp under the direction of Mr. Moran.

Suite from “The Flower Drum Song”


Overture for Billy


Captain’s Log


In addition to the band, 1964 also saw the creation of a choir, under the direction of Anna Jean DeDominicus. The following are selections by the choir at the Rotary Sunshine Camp, followed by a collaboration with the band.



Give Me Your Tired Your Poor


Deep River


A Perfect Day


Sine Nomine, with the band.



In 1965 the students took over the conducting chores. Dennnis Graham, Lynne Gardner, Diane Oyer, Fred DiCesare, Larry Driscoll, and Dan Welcher were among the student conductors.

Phyllis Oyer with the band at Ontario Beach Park. (1965)

NWCB 5pssm

Festival Prelude


Diane Oyer conducting the band at Ontario Beach Park. (1965)

NWCB 7pssm


Phyllis Oyer addresses the band at the Rotary Sunshine Camp. (1965)  She had made arrangements to have the Monroe County band shell transported to the camp for her concert.

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My Fair Lady (Conducted by Lynne Gardner)


Diane Oyer conducts the band. (1965)


Trumpets Ole


A camper at the Rotary Sunshine Camp gets to conduct the band. The band would be on auto pilot, playing The Stars and Stripes Forever.

NWCB 6pssm

The Stars and Stripes Forever


Conductor Dan Welcher helps a Sunshine Camper with the baton. (1965)

NWCB 8pssm



Dan Welcher, Greece Olympia H.S. student, rehearses the Northwest Concert Band. (1966)

NWCB 6pssm

Dan Welcher conducts the Northwest Concert Band at the Greece Towne Mall. NWCB 7pssm


A Civil War Fantasy


American Heritage


Greece Towne Mall. NWCB 1pssm


Henry Mancini Medley


Procession of the Nobles


Many of our concerts were outdoors, sometimes on the portable County Parks Band shell.  During this concert at Ontario Beach Park, the weather was threatening–you can hear the wind on the microphones, and the missed notes as we try to keep the music on the stands . At the 5:11 minute mark of Victory at Sea, you can hear a tremendous thunder clap. Please notice that the band doesn’t miss a beat. (We did move inside a local church to conclude the concert.)

Victory at Sea


Later, inside the church:

Parade of the Charioteers from Ben Hur



Lynne Gardner conducts the band. (1967)


Dan Welcher warming up the band. (1967)



Dan Welcher conducting. (1967)


Homage March


Hello Dolly


Ballet Parisien


Man of La Mancha



A number of the students who performed in the band were to become music educators and performers. Some have already been mentioned: Tom Saul; Fred DiCesare;  and Dan Welcher. Others would include Tom Bruce, Steve Kindred and Ron Bowks.


Dan Welcher returns to Rochester in 1999.



NWCB 4pssm2

NWCB 5pssm

GPAS Young Artists Competition

The Young Artists Competition is held annually to encourage 
excellence in performance among area high school performers. 
Winners receive a cash prize and perform at the Young Artists’ Recital in the Spring. 
Competition may be instrumental, vocal and now we have added a music theater category.

A separate category, The Phyllis Smith Oyer Musicianship Award, recognizes the musical ability that demonstrates exceptional potential and promise. In her youth, Phyllis Smith Oyer was greatly encouraged by her aunt in the development of her musical abilities.  At an early age, she became an accomplished pianist, organist and vocalist; she was the assistant organist at her church at age 11.  Mrs. Oyer continued to volunteer her musical talents in church and school choirs and instrumental groups throughout her life.  Mrs. Oyer was a long time member of the Greece Choral Society.

A sign of her dedication to the musical education of young people was her creation of a summer band for her children and their friends, to offer them a venue for performing when school was not in session.  An orchestra and chorus soon followed.  She involved many Rochester and Greece educators in this endeavor and provided the opportunity for these musical groups to perform at area parks, malls and the local Rotary Sunshine Camp.  As a result of her involvement in this and other musical activities, Mrs. Oyer was honored for helping form the framework of the Greece Performing Arts Society.  In remembrance of Mrs. Oyer, this Musicianship Award is presented annually by her family.

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