The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Concert Band has been playing music in the Shenandoah Valley for over 30 years.  The band traces its lineage back to the late 19th/early 20th century, but took the form of the modern-day concert band in 1984.  The band is made up of musicians from middle school age to Golden Agers with backgrounds in music ranging from novice to professional.  The HRCB was formed exclusively for charitable and educational purposes to benefit the community through the practice, performance and presentation of concert band music.  The band provides an artistic and recreational experience for anyone wishing to pursue instrumental music in the traditional concert band format.

The HRCB performs throughout the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.  Some of the band’s regular performances include the summer concert series at James Madison University, the Bridgewater Summer Concert Series, visits to area retirement homes, and the annual “Celebrate America! 4th of July Concert” with the Shenandoah Valley Choral Society, and culminates with several Christmas performances.

The band is under the direction of Melissa Bushong Harper. Melissa graduated from Shepherd College (now Shepherd University) in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education.  She has taught music from PreK to 12th grade ranging the full gamut of music classes from general music, choir, musical theater, band, marching band, jazz band and orchestra.  After graduating from Shepherd, Mrs. Harper worked as a middle school general music and choral teacher while performing at a dinner theater in Hagerstown, Maryland. After leaving the Maryland area, she went on to teach middle and high school band, musical theater, general music, and beginning band in Columbia, Pennsylvania. After arriving back in Virginia, Mrs. Harper taught concert band, marching band, string orchestra, general music, and music theater at Stonewall Jackson High School in Shenandoah County. The last ten years, Mrs. Harper has been teaching in Rockingham County, first at Mountain View Elementary and currently at Wilbur Pence Middle School teaching beginning band, concert bands, and jazz band. She is also the director of the after school musical theater program.

As a native of the area and an alumnus of Turner Ashby High School, Mrs. Harper is extremely excited to be in the area where her music roots grow deep.   In addition to her position as band director at Pence, she is active in Valley Wind Ensemble, she is the director for Harrisonburg Rockingham Community Band, and she is working on her master’s degree in Music Education.  In her free time, Mrs. Harper enjoys spending time with her family and finding as many beaches as possible.

For more information contact:

Cathy Brown, HRBC President

J.Frank Hillyard MS Bands

Hawks Hill Drive

Broadway, VA 22815