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)
After Clyde left in 1985, we were prepared for a formal conductor search, but fortunately did not have to look beyond our trumpet section. From 1985 until his passing on June 27, 2016, Mr. Raymond Handfield occupied the band’s podium.
Ray was a life member of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia honorary music fraternity and was a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (trumpet) where he was a student of Sidney Mear. He earned a master’s degree from Boston University where he continued 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. He served as principal trumpet with the Orchard Park Symphony Orchestra, New York where he also directed the youth orchestra and served on the board of directors. Ray served as principal trumpet with the “Opera Sacre” of Buffalo, New York. In Georgia he served as assistant principal trumpet for the Callanwolde Concert Band before taking the podium in 1985. Other than music, Ray enjoyed playing duplicate bridge and golf.
Ray had a profound impact on the Callanwolde Concert Band during the 31 years he was our conductor. The band was the center of Ray’s life, and we very much felt his dedication to us. He expected excellence from us as musicians, and we tried our best to give that to him.
Until his very last breaths, 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 we wear the letters RH on our blue band shirts in his memory.