Skip to main content

About Us

The Bel Air Community Band (BACB) was proud to celebrate our 50th Anniversary recently!  The band exists so that the musicians of Bel Air and the surrounding areas have the opportunity to continue to make music. 

Our motto:  "We love to make music and that's why we're here!"

In 1964, the late Mayor of Bel Air, the Honorable Werner Buchal, and the Town Commissioners formed a committee to establish a community band.  Since the band’s inception, the Town of Bel Air has furnished generous financial support through its Parks and Recreation Committee.  The band has grown from 20 charter members to our current membership of 95.  After outgrowing numerous rehearsal locations, the BACB currently rehearses Monday evenings at Patterson Mill High School.  Through a partnership formed with Harford Community College (HCC) in 1969, students of HCC have the opportunity to play in the band and receive college credit.

During the band's 54 years of existence, the band has performed under the direction of six conductors. They are in order of service: Ralph Porter, Robert Paige, Director Emeritus Michael Pastelak, who directed the band for 25 years, Robert Pouliot, the current director of the City of Fairfax Band, long time director C. Scott Sharnetzka, and our current director Richard Hauf.

Indoor concerts are held in May and December at Bel Air High School.  Outdoor concerts are held at the William A. Humbert Amphitheater including the Memorial Day Service, Bel Air Summer Concert and the Bel Air Festival for the Arts.  The BACB is an annual participant in Maryland Community Band Day.


Notable Performances:

  • 1987 – The BACB was selected to represent the State of Maryland at the ceremony in Philadelphia celebrating the bicentennial of Maryland ratifying the Constitution.
  • 2002 – The BACB performed at Ripken Stadium as part of Harford County’s services to mark the one-year anniversary of 9/11.
  • 2006 – The BACB was selected to perform at the Association of Concert Bands National Convention in Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • 2014 - The band celebrated its 50th anniversary out our May concert with the world premier of Patrick J. Burns' "Shimmering Chesapeake", commissioned by the BACB.  Band Alumni returned to join us on stage for Stars and Stripes Forever.
  • 2016 - The BACB was selected to perform at the Association of Concert Bands National Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Guest Directors have included:

  • Brian Balmages - Composer and Guest Conductor
  • Patrick Burns – Composer, Montclair State University, Bloomfield Youth Band
  • Dr. Brian Norcross – Franklin & Marshall College
  • Dr. Harlan Parker – Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University
  • Dr. Dana Rothlisberger – Towson University
  • Heidi I. Sarver, University of Delaware


Guest Performers have included:

  • Kevin Businsky (trumpet, US Navy Band, C. Milton Wright High School graduate)
  • David Murray (trombone, National Symphony, C. Milton Wright High School graduate)
  • Don Tison (principal trumpet, retired, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra)
  • Eric Zuber (award winning Pianist)