History Page 3

   1930's & 1950's
During Mr. Bender's tenure in office, several concerts were given for the prisoners in the Cumberland County Prison on East High Street in Carlisle. Fire Companies were very active in these times and the band played for all of their summer festivals held at the rear of the firehouses. The fire companies sponsored a lot of parades to show off their trucks, equipment and uniforms and the Washington Fire Company frequently hired the Singer Band to travel and play in these parades in towns as far away as Sunbury, PA and Winchester, VA.

The band rehearsed in a large room on the second floor of a building directly to the rear of the First Bank and Trust Company (Now PNC). A similarity to today's band schedule, rehearsals were on Thursday nights, but started at 8:00PM. This band room was very convenient to the town square in front of the bank and many concerts were given there. It was also fairly close to the Rakestraw Ice Cream factory and one Thursday night each summer was always set aside for a concert in the little lot in front of this building. This concert was very popular with the band members and there was always a good turnout because at about the halfway mark, the civic minded Roy E. Rakestraw would send employees out of the factory with pint boxes of ice cream for each member.

By 1930 a local electrician, Lloyd A. Bender was the band's director and solo cornetist. His electric store and shop were located where Reid's Instrument Shop was, on West Main Street.  He later ran for Cumberland County Sheriff, and the Singer Band played at political meetings throughout the county to help him get elected several times.

In the 1950s, interest in the band faded as high school bands became more popular.

   Present Day
The Singer Band was not fully revived until December 1980 with the help of the late Leonard Reid, former owner of Reid's Instrument Shop in Mechanicsburg. George Shaffer, a former musician in the U.S. Army Band in Washington, D.C., became the new director and lead the band until his retirement in December 2000. Mr. Matt Wieseman is the present director.

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