This page gives us an opportunity to introduce one of our members “up close and personal”. Our featured player this month is Richard Sands, trombone.
Richard Sands was born in Philadelphia, moving at an early age to Huntingdon Valley. Mr. Sands started his music career playing piano followed by trumpet while attending Lower Moreland School District, where he was a music major during his junior year and continued to play during college.
“I went to Ursinus majoring in math. For activities, I ran a repair service to help finance the first successful student-run radio station. I sang with the Meistersingers and in the annual Messiah performance at Christmas. I played trumpet for two years, baritone for one year, and learned to play the sax for one year. It was a very small band, and I volunteered to learn and fill in the missing parts.”
During his 4 years in the army artillery, mostly working on computers, serving in the Canal Zone and Vietnam, there wasn’t much time to use his musical ability. He was stationed in Panama for 18 months, and Dick and his wife Sue did manage to participate in a Panamanian Choir during this time.
“After the army, I returned to play tuba, trombone, and trumpet at various times for several years, finally settling on playing baritone horn with Quakertown Band for the last 30 years. I was a charter member of MCCB for the first year, but I was the only baritone in Quakertown Band and did not have time to participate in both bands. I had other activities including very active participation in my church and Boy Scouts as a leader.”
“My mom played piano and passed her love for music on to me, but the piano really didn’t suit well, so I concentrated on trumpet when my uncle, my dentist, said I wouldn’t need braces as long as I played trumpet. [I’d like to hear a dentist say that today! -editor].
Dick’s entire family is involved with music. All family members sing. His son Jon plays the clarinet
and his daughter Becca plays mallet percussion and piano. Both of the Sands’ children were active members in the North Penn School District music program, including the Marching Knights.
“I rejoined MCCB 3 or 4 years ago, having taken up trombone to improve my ear for pitch, be able to join a dance band, and to have a new challenge. Since then, I have joined VAMM, Veteran’s Association of Military Musicians, playing Baritone with the Concert band, and 3rd Trombone with the Dance Band.”My philosophy of music is as follows: Musical performance is a constant challenge to improve your ability and keep yourself mentally sharp while aiding in breathing and overall health.”
Dick is an extremely versatile individual.
“I worked on computer mainframes and PCs for my 35 year carreer. At 55, no one would give me a job even though I was certified as an Oracle DBA and systems programmer and programmed in Oracle’s PL/SQL, COBOL, Fortran, Autocoder, and Basic Assembler Language. I have served on various church council positions, and am currently on the recycling committee reporting to the trustees. I oversee the paper recycling effort and periodically run a hazardous waste and electronics collection and get it delivered to one of the recycling events in the area. I am a member of the Cradle of Liberty Boy Scout Council Shooting Sports Committee, and as an NRA instructor and an NAA archery instructor, help train new instuctors, help monitor the rifle, shotgun, and archery ranges at council camps, and help write and maintain the SOPs for the ranges. I am also a Unit Commissioner and function as an advisor and interface from the troop to the council for Troop 62 in Lansdale and Troop 14 in Telford.”
As is the case with many musicians, Dick is an extremely versatile individual. He is a multi-tasker, with a strong sense of concern for his fellow man. He is a patriot in the true sense of the word and a valuable asset to our MCCB and his church, family, and community.