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Kind Words From Some Of Our Friends  

Thaine Campbell, Bill Richey with Diane the Erie Band's 100th Anniversary Concert

My name is Bill Richey and I am the president and past director of the Erie Band in Huntington, Indiana. We were preparing to celebrate the centennial of the formation of the band and presented a concert on July 12, 2015. One of the pieces performed was Diane’s edition of “Erie Lines West” by J. L. Swihart. With Diane’s help, we were able to save a part of the band’s heritage that was nearly lost.
The Erie Railroad formed bands at its offices and shops in 1915. James Lawrence Swihart was the first director of the Erie’s band in Huntington, Indiana. His march, “Erie Lines West”, was copyrighted by the Erie Railroad in 1917, and was last performed by the band in the early 1980s. Elmer Rahn directed the Erie Band from 1922 to 1976. The band’s library remained in the Rahn family’s possession until they donated it to Huntington University. Many of the pieces in the collection were in bad shape or incomplete and were discarded. I made some inquiries as to whether “Erie Lines West” was still in the university’s library. Unfortunately, it was not.
Elmer Rahn’s grandson, Ed, knows of my interest in the history of the band and the Erie Railroad. He occasionally sends me copies of photos of trains and historical photos of the band from when his grandfather was director. In one batch of pictures was a photo of the Solo Cornet part for “Erie Lines West”. I shared the picture with Diane’s husband, Chris and wished aloud that the march could be located and performed for the centennial of the Erie Band. Chris volunteered Diane to look at the cornet part and see what could be done. Diane went to work and reconstituted the entire score from just one part. The result is terrific and an important piece of Huntington and Erie Railroad history lives on. I couldn’t be happier with her work on “Erie Lines West”!

"I am absolutely thrilled with the two compositions which were recently commissioned from Diane Whitacre.  The first, a composition for flute,  piano, and narrator, is based upon the poem Casey At The Bat.  The writing is wonderful and flows with witty twists and turns, delighting both performers and listeners.

The second composition, A Shoemaker's Dream for flute, guitar/harp and narrator, is destined to become a major work in the flute and guitar/harp literature.  The flute writing is incredibly well written (though challenging at points).  The melodies shift between contrasting themes. The dream themes are beautifully crafted and developed throughout.  These are the types of lyrical melodies that naturally inspire flutists to play with a gorgeous and full tone.  The cobbler's theme, in contrast, depicts the lively hammering of the shoemaker with grace notes and staccato (slightly reminiscent of the opening of Peter and the Wolf), while another theme gives the fingers a workout as it portrays the cold and blustery wind.  Diane is certainly in her element-- with such freeflowing imagination, full of rhythmic appeal, these pieces showcase her extremely gifted and compositional talents."

Kathy Blocki, Co-Owner, Blocki Flute Method LLC

" I have always wanted to have a piece of music composed just for one of my bands. Diane has been great to work with and has been very professional.  I would strongly recommend her for your composing and arranging needs."

Douglas Mc Elhaney, Band Director, Crestview Middle School, Huntington, Indiana 260-356-6210 ext. 2202