The Rutherford Community Band was founded June, 1941 by Thomas N. Monroe, Director of Music Education in Rutherford and later a Professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He formed the band as a musical outlet for adults and entertainment for the community. Six open air concerts in Lincoln Park were well received by the public and the band was then sponsored by the Rutherford Department of Recreation. In the nineteen fifties the band acquired a new Director, William N. Hutzel, a Rutherfordian who had the insight to allow students to jointhe band expanding their musical experience. With the untimely death of Mr. Hutzel in 1962, a campaign began to build a permanent band shell in the Lincoln Park which was dedicated as the Hutzel Memorial Band Shell, on June24, 1973. In 1963, Raymond L. Heller became the third director of the band. Mr. Heller attended Julliard School of Music and Columbia University and held a B.S. and M.A. in Music and Music Education with additional education at Rutgers and Montclair State University. He was a member of the 360th Army Band in Washing-ton State. Mr. Heller was the Director of Music Education in Rutherford until his retirement in 1991.
In 1964 Mr. Heller established a year round program for the addition of indoor concerts and exploration into newer and more challenging music as well as performing run-out concerts in Malls during “Music Education in the Schools Month”, Van Saun Park, Clifton, and Chappaqua, NY as well as our decades old association with the Ridgefield Park Summer concerts.
Mr. Heller conducted his last concert on June 25, 2015 after 52 years of dedicated service and passed away on September 8, 2015.
The band will carry on this legacy and is preparing to begin the 75th Season with Conductors Matthew Favaro and Donald Rolle
Donald Rolle is currently serving as Conductor and Principal Bassoonist with the Rutherford Community Band. His musical career began as a bassoonist in the New York City Public Schools under the inspirational teaching of David Rosenthal, Jonathan Strasser, William Minnich, Eugene Fader, Gerald Trevor and Martin Kirschenbaum.
Don attended The School of Performing Arts as a Bassoon major and placed second in the Senior Conducting Competi-tion. As a collegiate Don attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, University of Maine, Rutgers University and The Juilliard School. Don also performed at the Music Festivals of Tanglewood, Bowdoin, Estherwood and Aspen.
He has been honored to conduct in Master Classes with Otto Werner-Muller, Peter Paul Fuchs, James DePriest, Sergiu Comissiona, Murry Sidlin, Peter Perret and Leonard Bernstein.
Don studied Bassoon with Harry Searing, Andrew Cordle, Cynde Iverson, Angela Anderson Smith, Loren Glickman and Mark Popkin. As a bassoonist, Don has performed with the South Jersey Symphony, Garden State Philharmonic, Opera Theatre of Montclair, Princeton University Symphony Orchestra, Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, Vari Musicisti, The Waldwick Band and The Rutgers University Wind Ensemble.