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Pleasantville Fire Department Band Kicks Off Summer With Concert

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. - The Pleasantville Fire Department Band played its first concert of the summer Monday evening at the Mount Pleasant Library. The concert was originally supposed to be outdoors, but thunderstorms forced the band inside.

According to band director Stan Greenburg, the band has been active for 77 years and is the longest running fire department band in New York state. The band performs at the annual Christmas children's party at the firehouse, summer evening concerts in the gazebo, and visits with local senior citizen groups. The band also marches and plays at every parade in which the fire department participates.

"We play concert music, marches, show tunes, classical pieces, swing, jazz, a bit of everything," Greenburg said. Monday's concert featured the music of Johann Strauss, Richard Rodgers, and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The band practices almost every Monday throughout the year and consists of both young and longer-tenured community members. At 39 years, assistant conductor and parade director Joel Engelbrektson has been with the band for more than half of its existence.

"It really varies," Engelbrektson said of the tenure of the performers. "I would say those who joined this year to people like myself who have been here over 35 years. That's about the range. It's pretty much equally distributed."

Engelbrektson said the band's members typically join through knowing one of the firefighters or through advertising.

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