Kearny Mesa Concert Band        

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San Diego Community College District  


          Founded in 1972, the Kearny Mesa Concert Band is the oldest, continuously playing community band in San Diego County.  The band was created as a showcase for older, talented, amateur, and professional musicians.  William Swegles, a music faculty member, was the band’s first music director, succeeded by Robert Olisar, a local musician.  Each had short terms until Robert McKewen became the third music director from 1981-1992.  McKewen led the band through a transition from a Mesa College music course to a continuing education course in the mid-1980s.  James Romeo played in the band for a year under McKewen before becoming the fourth music director from 1992-2016.  The name, Kearny Mesa Concert Band, was adopted early in Romeo’s tenure.  Richard Almanza took over as fifth music director in 2016.  Today the band is a tuition free continuing education class of the San Diego Community College District which meets on the campus of Mesa College in Building “C”, room 119.  The class meets on Tuesdays from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. during fall, spring, and summer terms.  Although musicians of all ages are active in the band, the average age is over 55.  The band does not require a formal audition to participate, only a desire to play great music with new friends.

1995 Standley Park
1995 Summer Concert in Standley Park

Music Director:

Richard Almanza

          Richard Almanza, a graduate of California State University at Long Beach, has been an Instrumental Music teacher for over 36 years, predominantly in the San Diego County.  He is a member and adjudicator for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) as well as the California Music Educators Association (CMEA).  He has taught at all levels of music education (K-12 and college).  Almanza has been a clinician as well as guest conductor for bands throughout Southern California.  He was the band manager for many District Honor Bands/Orchestras as well as band manager for CMEA Honor Band, and he has been host to Band/Orchestra Festival, Jazz Band Festivals, and Solo/Ensemble Festivals for over 25 years. 


Band, April 15, 2017Creative Performing Media Arts, April 15, 2017  

*Section Leader

Clarinet:  Nick Belby, John Boaz, Vincent Broman, *Jonathan Crick, Lynne Harrington-Crick, Asa Hunter, Cindy May, Elaine Ragazzo, Bryant Smith, Stephen Smith, Linda Thompson, Sandra Wagner, and Betty Zaleski.

Oboe:  *Vincent Broman.

Saxophone:  Allen Diamond, Joel Feinstein, Lee Howeth, Douglas Kenyon, *Dick Lawrence, Evelyn McKinney, Maureen Minder, Bill Munz, Buzz Naughton, and Giovanni Silva.

Bassoon:  Christian Arroyo, *Judy Edelblute, and Jesus Obu.

French Horn:  Lara Bullock, Jim Hane, *Wayne Kitt, Amanda Marriage, Jonathan Muzika, and Brooke Peterman.

Flute/Piccolo Andrea Ashbaugh, Jordan Behling, Marc Fulbright, *Kate Leonard, Sherman "Rick" Levesque, Renee Maurer, Debbie Olson, Connie Stephenson, and Kathy Wellbrock.

Cornet/Trumpet:  Chuck Hukari, *Ed Hekman, Stephan Lapic, Gregg Lichtenstein, David Mather, Dennis McKinley, Douglas Mooney, Gilbert Pablo, Scott Retzak, Kathy Robb, Tanya Wallace, Dan Wolford, and Mary Wolford.

Trombone:  Mark Ashbaugh, Bob Brislin, *Jack Close, Jaime Mariscal, Ixchel Perez, Pete Riley, and Enrique Silva.

Baritone/Euphonium:  *Lon Cumberworth and John Pena.

Tuba:  Chuck Cuccaro, Joe Muzika, and *Matt Preuss.

Percussion Richard DeRosset, Darryl Redwine, Harley Sobreo, Kathryn Trainor, and *Matt Trainor.

Assistant Conductor:  Greg Shirer


Civitas Park, August 15, 2017Civitas Park, August 15, 2017

          Click here for a Henry Mancini medley video from the August 15, 2017 concert at Civitas Park.  Click here for a Glenn Miller medley video from this concert.


History of community bands in San Diego: 

          Click here to read A Brief History of Community Bands in San Diego.


Joint concert with Japanese Training Squadron Band, Plaza de Panama, Balboa Park, June 14, 2015:

Romeo directing Japanese band Audience toward band
Overall from rear Painting of Japanese ship Trumpets standing
Cultural interaction Audience All posing


Selected recordings:

Twilight in the Park concert, Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park, November 25, 2017:  Video

James Romeo's final concert after 25 years as Music Director, Community Band Festival, Old Poway Park, May 22, 2016:  Video

Christmas concert, Mira Mesa Presbyterian Church, December 14, 2014:

           Christmas Joy, Audio ;

           Rudolph's Christmas Concert, Audio ;

           American Christmas Rhapsody, Audio ;

          Bay State, Audio 

          Celebration of Christmas Carols, Audio ;  

          Christmas Sing-Along, Audio ;  

          Bells of Christmas, Audio ;

           Christmas Festival, Audio ;

           Sleigh Ride, Audio ;

           American Christmas Rhapsody, Audio  ;

           Silent Night, Audio ;

           Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Audio .

Christmas concert, Organ  Pavilion, Balboa Park, November 29, 2014: 

          Star of Wonder, arranged by James Swearingen and Johhny Marks, Rudolph's Christmas Concert, arranged by Eric Osterling  Video .

Recording of Gabriel's Oboe made on June 14, 2014 on board the Japanese Navy vessel Kashima in preparation for our joint concert with their band at Balboa Park on June 17, 2014:

          Gabriel's Oboe, composed by Enio Morriconi and arranged by our band member, Joe FurFuro  Video .

Recordings, Crill Performance Hall, Point Loma, San Diego:

           John Philip Sousa, The Stars and Stripes Forever,  Audio

           Leonard Bernstein, Overture to Candide, Audio

           Camillie Saint-Saens, Chorale, Symphony No. 3 (Organ), Audio

           Gioaccino Rossini, Largo al Factotum from Barber of Seville (vocal, Cleve Genzlinger), Audio ;

          Arthur Sullivan, Pineapple Poll Suite (selections), Audio

           Zo Elliot, British Eight March, Audio

           Herbert Clark, Carnival of Venice, Theme and Variations (euphonium, Christian Riesebieter) Audio ;

           Hal Leonard, Armed Forces Salute, Audio ;

           Peter Wilhousky (setting), Battle Hymn of the Republic, Audio

           David Holsinger, It is Well with my Soul, On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss, Audio ;

           Samuel Ward, America, The Beautiful, Audio . 



Founded in 1972
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