North Shore Community Band

About the North Shore Community Band

Our Musical Director

Jim MacDougallJim MacDougall was born and raised on Long Island but attended the University of Arizona in Tucson where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in music education. Following graduation he returned to Long Island in hopes of finding a teaching job only to find that the job market was not so good. Having grown up watching planes fly over his house on the way to Kennedy Airport and witnessing the early space program he was inspired to join the Air Force and learn to fly.

Jim entered Officer Training School in 1981 and earned his wings in March of 1983. He spent seven years on active duty before deciding to return to Long Island once again to pursue a career in music education. Accepting a position at Hicksville High School as assistant band director and music theory teacher, he learned of the 106th Rescue Wing in Westhampton Beach and opted to return to active duty and complete the additional thirteen years needed for retirement.

Jim retired from the Air Force in the Fall of 2003 as a Lieutenant Colonel and was finally able to fulfill his life-long dream of becoming a music teacher. He now teaches band in the Westhampton Beach School District and has studied music in such places as C.W. Post College, Westminster Choir College, Central Connecticut State University, and The College of New Jersey. He accepted the position as Musical Director in 2004.

A Brief History of the Band

The North Shore Community Band was established in 1983 by music teacher Marty Stromsten as the Shoreham-Wading River Community Band. Marty wanted to bring music to the community and offer a place for local musicians to perform. Practicing and performing at the Shoreham-Wading River High School, the band thrived. When Marty retired in 1991, he handed the conductor's baton to Jim Traina, who was then the band director at Albert Prodell Middle School.

Under Jim Traina, the band grew in membership and musicianship, and our local audience grew as well. Playing at the High School for most concerts, our audience expanded as we gave off-site performances as well. When he retired from the Middle School, Jim Traina retired from the Community Band as well. His choice to succeed him was Westhampton Beach Middle School band director and retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jim MacDougall, who has been our current director since 2004. Our relationship with the Shoreham-Wading River school district ended in 2013.

Under Jim's guidance, the band has further broadened our concert schedule, performing all over the east end of Long Island. We perform three concerts a year in the Father John Sullivan Hall at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Wading River. We are the band of choice for Calverton National Cemetery, accompanying the beautiful and solemn Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day ceremonies. During the summer, we have our summer concert series on the lawn of the First Congregational Church in Wading River. In addition to our regular series of public concerts, the band also travels for more intimate performances at nursing homes and veteran's facilities, including regular performances at the Long Island State Veteran’s Home in Stony Brook, as well as at other communities.

To exist, the band relies entirely on donations to purchase music and provide funding for our scholarship program. We also have other benefactors, including the Suffolk County Legislature and many local businesses who have purchased advertisements in our programs. Our band members include people from all walks of life, from middle school students to retired music teachers. We all share one thing in common - a love of music.