About the Colony

Symphony pays tribute to Atascadero’s 100-year history

Special to The TribuneSeptember 9, 2013 

Lon Allan


Trying to find just the right gift for someone isn’t easy.

This is especially true when it comes to coming up with a gift for a city that’s observing its 100th birthday.

Atascadero Kiwanis Club is doing it by building a $125,000 bandstand and donating it to the city on Oct. 20.

Atascadero High School graduate Darin Alvord has composed a centennial symphony. His piece, “Of Time’s Many Waters,” is a 24-minute paean to the community in which he grew up. It will be performed by the North County-based chamber orchestra Symphony of the Vines, under the direction of Gregory Magie. The symphony will be performed at the Pavilion at the Lake on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. Tickets will cost $30.

Atascadero Mayor Tom O’Malley and Paso Robles City Councilman Steve Martin are heading up a fundraising effort to provide a venue for Alvord’s stirring piece of music to be heard. I’ve had all three men in class — O’Malley, Martin and Alvord.

Martin points out that his friend’s symphony is not only a tribute to the 100-year history of the community, but also to the musical experience that thousands of pupils have received from past band teachers, such as brothers Dick and Marty Baum and Lyle Stubson, who currently plays with the Atascadero Community Band.

“The centennial symphony is dedicated to the recognition of these instructors and their musical impact on the youth of Atascadero and the entire community,” Martin wrote me recently.

It was Stubson who encouraged Albord to write music. The then-teen’s first composition was performed by the Atascadero High School band in 1968, followed by two more the next year.

In a news release, Alvord said, “I wanted to express the American spirit evident in the ambitious and visionary efforts of the city’s founder, E.G. Lewis, as well as the courage and energy of those who traveled from all over the country to be a part of his dream of a utopian, self-sufficient and integrated community.”

Martin is heading up a fundraising effort to make the concert happen. It will cost about $10,000 to produce the concert, and he is halfway there.

If you want to help Martin and O’Malley (O’Malley and Alvord were trumpet players together in the Greyhound band) provide a venue to hear this centennial symphony, you can contact Martin at 296-2487 or by email at swmartin@swmartin.com. There are several layers of sponsorship available to individuals and businesses.

The Alvord family has already contributed to the city’s history with the efforts of Darin’s dad, Jim, which led to the creation of a baseball field near Atascadero Lake Park.

Lon Allan has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades and his column is published weekly. Reach him at 466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.

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