The West Hills Symphonic Band presented its debut concert on January 29, 1967 with fifty-eight musicians, ranging from high school students to senior citizens. This concert laid the foundation for the musical organization which continues to flourish to this day. The goal was to develop an organization of professional and amateur musicians who could share their love of music with each other and the community. Over the years, the West Hills Symphonic Band has performed at many venues that are primarily located in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Many concerts support programs that promote public interests. It is our hope that the West Hills Symphonic Band will continue to meet the needs of both musicians and the community for many years to come.
|Principal Conductor from 2009 to the present: Clem Rolin is the retired director of bands at Robert Morris University and founder of the RMU Jam Blues Band and RMU Jazz Ensemble. He earned his B.S. in Music Education and Masters of Education at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa. After heading band programs in the Montour School District for 22 years, he returned to his high school Alma Mater, the South Fayette School District, as director/arranger of the "Little Green Machine" band. Rolin served there until his retirement from the public schools in 2003. In 1994 he answered the call to initiate a similarly styled marching band program at Robert Morris University where he continued to produce|
outstanding ensembles. Rolin has been an arranger of band music for 40 years, with his arrangements being played by high school, civic and college bands throughout the Eastern United States. His numerous guest conducting appearances include associate conductor for the American Youth Symphonic Band (European tour), Washington County PMEA Honors Band (2004), PMEA District 1 Honors Jazz and Elementary Bands (2006) and as guest conductor and clinician for many area high school concert and jazz programs. Besides being an active performer on Pittsburgh's jazz scene, he continues to serve as an adjudicator for PMEA concert and jazz band festivals. Rolin began his association as an instrumentalist with the West Hills group in the 1969 season, serving in periodic roles as arranger, guest conductor and bassist for the band over the span of forty years. He is proud to have many former students from Robert Morris University and South Fayette/Montour High Schools number among the ranks of the West Hills Symphonic Band.
|Current Associate Conductor: Tom Snyder is in his 29th year of teaching music, the 25th in the West Allegheny School District. A high school band director for 20 years, he has served since 1999 as District Arts Coordinator, responsible for music, visual arts, theater and forensics. He also teaches sixth grade band, lessons and general music and produces the high school fall play and spring musical. Snyder graduated from Clarion State College with a B.S. in Music Education and received a Masters in Music Education from Duquesne University. He is currently the state Adjudication Chair for the PA Music Educators Association and the president of the PA Interscholastic Marching Band Association. Snyder is also a marching band adjudicator as a member of the PA Federation of Contest Judges and a|
concert band/sight reading adjudicator for Federation of Contest Judges and a concert band/sight reading adjudicator for PMEA. He was a guest conductor for the Indiana County Band Festival. Snyder has enjoyed the opportunity to host the West Hills Symphonic Band at WA since fall 2008 and to become a member of the saxophone section.
|Principal Conductor from 1998 to 2009: Anthony L. DiIanni was conductor for 11 years until his retirement. Tony; a native of McKees Rocks, is a retired Navy Band director, He was responsible for presenting military concerts, both in the United States and abroad. After graduating from Stowe High School, Tony attended Clarion University for two years, then the Navy School of Music. He graduated from the Band Masters Course in 1970 and did tours of Japan; Seattle, Washington; Newport, Rhode Island; Naples, Italy; Cuba; Norfolk, Virginia, and Great Lakes, Illinois. During his navy career, he performed for many foreign officials and played on Italian and Greek television. Tony also played for the arrival of Astronaut Gordon Cooper after his 22 orbits around the Earth in 1963. Tony retired from the Navy in 1976, and graduated from Central Arizona College.|
|Principal Conductor from 1967 to 1998: Joseph C. Picchi the founding conductor worked hard to put this symphonic band on a firm foundation and establish a fine musical reputation. Joe was a lifelong musician, a teacher, and conductor. He began his studies at the age of 12. He attended Duquesne University, Carnegie Tech, and Biarritz University of France. An accomplished violinist, Mr. Picchi was a member of the Pittsburgh Opera Company, Wheeling Symphonic Orchestra, Butler Symphonic Orchestra, Clarion Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Light Opera Company, and the Pittsburgh Chamber Orchestra. During his 20+ years as a Montour School District music teacher, he developed an excellent program for the community’s students. Under his direction, the marching and concert bands received numerous awards and recognition.|
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