Ye Olde Towne Band, celebrating its 50th year in Los Altos, is set to open its new season with a free concert 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday in Shoup Park. Band members plan to celebrate the milestone at intermission with cake for the band and audience.
The band started in 1962 in Redwood City before coming to Los Altos in 1973. Comprising approximately 50 musicians, the band performs monthly summer concerts featuring popular music that has spanned generations.
They play simply for the love of the music, according to band member Nora Singer.
Singer’s father, Lewis, recruited her when she was 19, and she has played tuba in Ye Olde Towne Band the past 26 years.
“It’s a group of musicians that play all over the Peninsula – men and women, but mostly men,” Singer said. “They all play in, like, four or five bands.”
Singer picked up the tuba in seventh grade at Graham Middle School because there was a need for one in her marching band. She’s been playing ever since.
There are few solos for tuba, but you may hear one during “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
“I play the piccolo part,” she said.
The band is all about tradition. Other than during the pandemic, Ye Olde Towne Band has performed at Shoup Park every summer.
Longevity is key to Ye Olde Towne Band’s success. Conductor John DeLoach has led the band since 2004, and one member, tenor saxophone player Carolee Wheeler, has been with the group since the very beginning.
DeLoach said Ye Olde Towne Band plays “Americana music that was played in the town parks of yesteryear. There are not many bands that play the old nostalgic music as we do. Our repertoire consists of marches and show tunes – music pleasant to the ear. Our concerts in the park are within a family picnic environment that is reminiscent of days when life was much simpler.”
The band encourages residents to show up, bring a blanket and some food, and take in the concert in a relaxing setting.
Other scheduled concerts this year are June 25, July 30, Aug. 27 and Sept. 24.
“We are tried-and-true, loyal musicians,” Singer said. “Come out and hear some good music.”
Shoup Park is located at 400 University Ave.
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