Executive Committee and Appointed Positions


Susan Sands - President
Gail Brechting - President-elect
Jerry Brubaker - Past President


Nada Montgomery - Secretary
Craig J. Erhard -Treasurer 
Nancy Michalek - Editor
Sarah McElfresh - National Membership Chair, Web Administrator
Gerald Guilbeaux - Historian
Val Czamara - Marketing Director
Judith Shellenberger - Life Member Chair 
Donna Caneen - ASCAP/BMI Compiler 
Jim Caneen - Convention Coordinator


Susan Sands

Susan Sands
Sewickley, PA


Susan Sands served on the ACB Board of Directors for 6 years before being elected to serve as President of the organization. Susan received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education, specializing in oboe, from Susquehanna University and her MEd in Music from The Pennsylvania State University. She taught music in the Midd-West and Moon Area School Districts in Pennsylvania, St. Bernadette’s in Monroeville, and in Connecticut in the Glastonbury Public Schools. In 1990, she became director of the East Winds Symphonic Band and a dedicated advocate for community bands. Under her direction, East Winds developed as an organization and in 2008 was recognized by the John Philip Sousa Foundation with the prestigious Sudler Silver Scroll, the highest award for excellence for a community band. East Winds Symphonic Band was selected to perform for ACB national conventions in Corning, NY (2008) and Muskegon, MI (2011). East Winds hosted “Three Rivers Rhapsody” the 2016 ACB National Convention in Pittsburgh. In 2004, EWSB established the Three Rivers Community Band Festival to further awareness of community band music in western Pennsylvania, to encourage quality performance, and to encourage collaboration among community band musicians from many different organizations. Susan is a member of the Pittsburgh Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota and Women Band Directors International. In her community, Susan serves on the board of directors for Parish Mansions, a senior housing initiative. She resides in the Sewickley neighborhood of Pittsburgh with her husband Tom, a computer engineer and has three children.

Gail BrechtingGail A. Brechting

Spring Lake, MI


Mrs. Brechting is in her twentieth year as the conductor and music director of the West Michigan Concert WINDS. Under her direction, the WINDS performed at the 2005 and hosted the 2011 National Convention of the Association of Concert Bands. In May of 2015 had the honor to perform in Symphony Hall in Chicago and in June of 2016 will perform in Carnegie Hall in New York City. The WINDS are the 2005 recipient of the Sudler Silver Scroll, an international award recognizing excellence in adult community bands, administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Central Michigan University and a Master of Arts degree from Western Michigan University. She is an active trombonist and a much sought after soprano vocal soloist in the West Michigan area.

The WINDS have toured three times abroad. She has guest conducted in Michigan, Louisiana, Arkansas and Florida. From 1996-1999 Mrs. Brechting represented MSBOA as the State Representative for the Michigan Youth Arts Festival.

Presently, she is the band director at Muskegon Community College and is in her thirty-seventh year of music education, the past thirty with the Reeths-Puffer School District. Mrs. Brechting is a national board member of the Association of Concert Bands, the National Band Association, the College Band Directors Association, the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, P.E.O. and the Woman Band Directors Association; recently finishing a six year term as a national board member of the Association of Concert Bands, and was the first woman selected to be a member of the John Philip Sousa Foundations, Sudler Silver Scroll Award Selection Committee.

Mrs. Brechting lives in Spring Lake, MI with her engineer/pianist husband Frank, their daughter Annelise.

Jerry Brubaker
Past President 
Estes Park, CO


Jerry Brubaker is an exclusive composer and arranger for Alfred Publishing Co. Inc. and has published over 300 works for band, symphony orchestra and chorus. A native of Altoona, Pennsylvania, Jerry has a Bachelors degree from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Music from The catholic University of America. Mr. Brubaker served for 30 years in the United States Navy Band in Washington, DC as a French horn soloist and composer / arranger. He became the Band’s Chief Arranger and held that position until his retirement from the Navy in 1998.

Most recently Jerry has been a member of the Village Band of Estes Park (CO), City of Fairfax (VA) Band and the Virginia Grand Military Band and served as a member of the board of directors of The Association of Concert Bands. .As President-Elect of ACB Jerry has a vision that the organization will stay vital and grow in the future.


Nada Vencl Montgomery

Nada Montgomery
Independence, OH
(800) 726-8720
(216) 524-1897



Nada is a piccolo/flute/piano player from Independence, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. She plays with the Lakeland Civic Band (a Sudler Silver Scroll award winner), the Lakeland Civic Summer Band, and the Lakewood Hometown Band. Nada is also an accompanist at Lakeland Community College for the Civic Chorus and Independence Middle School and High School where her daughter is the choir director. She has recently retired from a family-owned moving company where she worked for 44 years. A musical or two annually and private students help fill in her schedule. She is currently the President of Windjammers Unlimited - a circus music historical society. Nada is a Life member and former board member of ACB and became the ACB secretary in 1996. In 1997 and 2017 she was awarded the ACB's Leland A. Lillehaug President's Award. She truly enjoys talking with and meeting community band people from around the country. Nada is married to Mike Montgomery. They reside in Independence, OH and Bradenton, FL. She is the mother of two grown daughters, Gretchen and Heidi, and is totally captivated by her three grandsons, Nolan, Kyle, Devin, and granddaughter, Alana.

Craig J. Erhard
Buffalo, NY


 Craig J. Erhard is a founding member, trombonist and treasurer/board member of the Buffalo Niagara Concert Band since its inception in 2003. He was Finance Chair of ACB 2018 – Forte’ in Buffalo. Craig has performed in many community wind bands, big bands and musical pit orchestras for the past 35 years, and has served as treasurer for a few of those groups. Craig is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the state of NY and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He currently serves as CFO of Innovative Concepts in Entertainment, a leading arcade and amusement game company based in Clarence, NY with a worldwide presence. He currently resides in Kenmore, NY and has three grown sons.

Nancy Michalek

Nancy Michalek
Frisco, TX 75034
(972) 839-8217


Nancy Michalek has over thirty years experience leading business and information technology initiatives for General Motors and EDS (Electronic Data Systems) and retired from Hewlett-Packard in 2007. Nancy is a graduate of the University of Michigan. She lived in California and Spain before moving to Texas. She plays percussion in the Plano Community Band in Plano, Texas, served on the band board for 20 years, and led the group to host the ACB 2010 Convention. She also plays in flute ensembles and plays percussion in the McKinney Community Band. Nancy has been a Life Member of ACB since 1997 and served as an ACB Board Member from 2005 - 2011. She served as ACB Publications Coordinator from 2010 - 2019. Nancy is now the Editor of the ACB Journal and serves on several committees.

Sarah McElfresh
Sarah McElfresh
National Membership Chair 
Web Administrator

Newport News, VA
(757) 874-9270


Sarah is mother of two daughters who finds time to play Euphonium between being a Mom-taxi and volunteer work. Her first experience with community bands was as a child in Massachusetts carrying the banner and later as musician with the Canton Community Band. She currently plays with the Peninsula Concert Band in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia.  Prior to that she has played with the Longwood University Wind Symphony and is a founding member of the Heart of Virginia Community Band, both in Farmville, VA;  Piedmont Wind Symphony and Historic Bethabara Park Concert Band in Winston-Salem, NC. Prior to moving to NC and then VA, she lived in Pennsylvania, playing with many community bands, including 9 years with the Sulder Silver Scroll recognized East Winds Symphonic Band. While in Pittsburgh, she was a founding member of the Three Rivers Community Band Festival and introduced the “Festival Band” that is similar to the ACB Convention Band. Introduced to ACB in 2000 by her husband Scott (member since 1994), she has participated in several conventions (since 2006) and has served or is serving as Regional Membership Coordinator for PA (2008-2012), NC (2011-) VA (2012 -). In 2016 she received the Leland A. Lillehaug President’s Award from ACB. Educated in geology with a BS from St. Lawrence University in NY and MS from the University of Pittsburgh, she has spent time at the front of a college classroom, but now enjoys time at home with her family. In her role, she plans to continue supporting adult concert bands, to make people aware of the organization and to encourage bands to acquire the BMI/ASCAP Blanket License.

Gerald Guilbeaux
Lafayette, LA


A member of the Lafayette Concert Band since its inception in 1982, Gerald Guilbeaux has been the Conductor/Music Director of the band since 1993. He is also the founder and conductor of the Acadian Wind Symphony, a select wind ensemble which performs during the summer months and at special events. Under his direction, the Lafayette Concert Band became the 1999 recipient of the Sudler Silver Scroll, an international award recognizing excellence in adult community bands, administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation.

He has earned a national reputation as an advocate for the adult community music movement and is Past-President of the Association of Concert Bands. He has twice been awarded the Citation of Excellence by the National Band Association and received the Diploma of the Order of Merit from the John Philip Sousa Foundation. Mr. Guilbeaux is an active guest conductor, serves on the Selection Committee for the Sudler Silver Scroll and is Vice-President of Development for the John Philip Sousa Foundation. He is the administrator and assistant conductor of the Sousa Foundation’s National Community Band. He was elected Chair of the Associate Member Committee of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of ABA.

He is the proud father of three daughters, Amy, Lynn and Chrissy. Granddaughters, Carly and Cameryn O’Quain, Addison Thompson, Lily Bone and grandsons Lucien Bone IV and Mark and Henry Thompson add tremendous joy to his family life.

Val Czamara
Marketing Director
Buffalo, NY
(716) 310-3840 


Val Czamara started playing mallet percussion as a high school junior in Lyndonville, NY. She continued to play in college with the University at Buffalo Blue Noise Pep Band. There, she was a founding member of the renewed marching band, the Thunder of the East of which she became Assistant Drum Major, and eventually Head Drum Major. One night she went along with a group of her bandmates playing in the Sikora Post Band in North Tonawanda, NY and discovered the wonderful world that is the community band. From there, Val went on to play with the Niagara Frontier Concert Band where she taught herself tuba. She eventually became President of the NFCB, holding that position through the merger of the former Amherst Community Band with the NFCB to form the Buffalo Niagara Concert Band. She became Vice President of the group in Fall 2018 and continues to serve on the Board of Directors.

Outside of concert band life, Val is a parade judge with the NY-Penn Judging Association. Professionally, Val is the Associate Director of Digital Media at Gelia, a full service advertising agency, overseeing a rapidly growing team that runs programs across the globe. She lives in Amherst, NY with her husband John and their spunky son Andrew, where she enjoys cooking, home food processing, camping and gardening.


Judith Shellenberger
Life Member Chair
Williamsport, PA


Judith B. Shellenberger has been a Life member of ACB since 1994. She received the Leland A. Lillehaug President's Award in 2009. She served as an ACB Board member for six years and became president of ACB in 2011. Judy retired in June 2005 after serving 36 years as a Band Director in the Williamsport (PA) Area School District. After retirement, she graduated from Mt. Nittany Institute of Natural Health and is a Certified Massage Practitioner. She holds a BS degree in Music Education from Mansfield University with graduate work at S.U.N.Y. Potsdam, University of Michigan, Penn State University, and Lycoming College. She received the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association’s “Citation of Excellence” Teaching Award. Judy was elected to the National Band Association’s Board of Directors as an Elementary-Middle School Representative. She has served as an adjudicator for bands and orchestras in Pennsylvania and Virginia. She has been a middle school band consultant in Connecticut and clinician for PMEA. Judy has played French horn in the famous Repasz Band (Est. 1831) in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for the past 56 years, and has served as their Business Manager since 1984. She plays euphonium in the Central Pennsylvania Community Band, and co-directs the “Encores”, Williamsport’s New Horizons Band. She is a member of Windjammers Unlimited, Inc., the National Band Association, the International Military Music Society, Bugles Across America, Taps for Veterans and the Canadian Band Association. Judy shares her love of music with her husband Tom, her daughters, Anna and Carol, their husbands, and her seven charming granddaughters.

Donna Caneen

Donna Caneen
BMI/ASCAP Compiler
Arkport, NY


Donna Caneen has served as the Compiler of the performance lists for the ACB Blanket Performance License with BMI and ASCAP since 2010. Prior to that she was the regional membership chair for New York State, and had also served as the National Membership Chair. The Association of Concert Bands is an important aspect in her life. She feels it is an important organization for community bands and their members. In 1990, her home band, the Hornell Area Wind Ensemble performed at the 1990 ACB convention held in Rochester, NY and then again in 2008 when the convention was held in Corning, NY. A life member of ACB since 1997, she has attended every ACB convention since 1994. She is very passionate about the mission of ACB and encourages people everywhere to become members. In her home band, out of the 60 members, 31 are current members of ACB. In 2013, she was awarded the Leland A. Lillehaug President’s Award for her dedication of time and service to the organization. “Music for Life” describes her involvement as a flute and piccolo player in the Hornell Area Wind Ensemble and the Corning Area Community Concert Band. She and her husband Jim busy themselves by traveling the country to participate in Music at the Summit, the John Philip Sousa National Community Band, Windjammers Unlimited, the Great American Community Band, and the Liberty Classic Community Band Festival, and each and every ACB Convention band. In her pre-retirement days, Donna was an elementary school teacher. She and her husband live in Arkport, NY.

Jim Caneen
Convention Coordinator
Arkport, NY