Charles Bradley (1972 – 1973)
George Webster (1973)
Clyde Bales (1973 – 1985)
In the fall of 1973, the remaining members decided that the band would continue and asked for a show of hands from anyone who had ever been a band director. One hand hesitantly went up and by unanimous vote of everyone else, he was told, “Clyde, you are our new conductor” and given absolutely no choice in the matter whatsoever.
Clyde Bales had not “waved the stick” in about twenty years, and was making his living as a communications engineer. His music degree from LSU had rusted quietly except for playing percussion with the band for fun. He presided over our growth until 1985 when a job change transferred him away from Atlanta.
Clyde returned to us years later as an assistant conductor until he passed away on June 23, 2013. We will remember him for his truly terrible jokes and his uncanny resemblance to Santa.
Raymond Handfield (1985 – 2016)
When Clyde left the band in 1985, we were prepared for a formal conductor search. Fortunately we didn’t have to look beyond our trumpet section, where he served as assistant principal trumpet. When he ascended the band’s podium, Ray served as the band’s leader for nearly 32 years.
He was a life member of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia honorary music fraternity and a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (trumpet) as a student of Sidney Mear. Ray earned a master’s degree from Boston University continuing trumpet study with Armando Ghitalla. He taught instrumental music and directed school bands in Massachusetts, New York and Georgia, retiring after a thirty year career.
Ray performed in concert with the Oslo, Norway Opera Orchestra, served as principal trumpet with the “Opera Sacre” of Buffalo, New York; and the Orchard Park Symphony Orchestra, New York, where he also directed the youth orchestra and served on the board of directors. Beyond music, Ray enjoyed playing duplicate bridge and golf and had a fond liking of a good lobster dinner.
Ray had a profound impact on the Callanwolde Concert Band; the band was the center of Ray’s life, and we very much felt his dedication to us.
Until he departed us, Ray was thinking of us. While in hospice, Ray listened to recordings of past Callanwolde Concert Band concerts. He will forever be in our hearts and memories. In his honor, the band wears the letters “RH” on our blue band shirts.