OSWEGO, NY – William Palange retired from the Oswego City School District in 2010, completing a career spanning nearly 35 years as a music educator.
Palange was inducted in the New York State Field Band Conference Hall of Fame this past Sunday (Nov. 1) at the NYSFBC Championships. The Marching Buccaneers placed fourth in their division.
For more than 24 years, Palange was conductor of the Concert Band, Wind Ensemble and director of the Marching Buccaneers while in Oswego.
Prior to his tenure in Oswego, he taught in the Greece Central School District (Olympia High School, 1976-78) and the Jordan–Elbridge Central School District (JE Junior/Senior High School, 1978-1985).
A native of Camillus, NY, Palange completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Miami (Coral Gables, Fla.) where he was principal trombone in the UM Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Fredrick Fennell.
In his first full year teaching at Greece-Olympia High School (1976), he assembled the first field band in the history of the Greece Central School District. The Olympia High School “Spartan” Marching band competed in the NYS Field Band Conference competition in Holley during the fall season, 1977.
In July, 1978, Palange accepted a position as high school band director in the Jordan-Elbridge school district.
J-E’s “Marching Eagles” dominated NYSFBC Class B competition during that time, winning NYSFBC Championships in 1980, 1981, 1983, and 1985. In 1984, after a classification realignment, JE finished 4th in the National Class.
During his tenure in Oswego (1985-2010), the Marching Buccaneers were Bands of America finalists in the West Virginia, East Tennessee and Hofsta University regional competitions.
Oswego finished 2nd in the NYSFBC National Class in 2000 and 2002, with third place finishes in 2001 and 2003.
They also appeared in the Phoenix, Ariz., Fiesta Bowl Parade and National Pageant of Bands in December 1989 and 1999.
In April, 1997 he received the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra Musicians Award as Outstanding Music Educator in Instrumental Music.
Palange was extremely active in the NYSFBC for over 30 years, serving on numerous committees including sheet revisions, constitution and band classification.
He served as a Class B Representative and also as NYSFBC President.
He is responsible for the implementation of the Governor’s Cup award at the NYSFBC Championships and was responsible for commissioning an arrangement of “America the Beautiful” that was performed by the combined bands during National Class retreat at the NYSFBC Championships.
Palange appears frequently as guest conductor and clinician for band festivals, All County and Area All State events across the state.
He also remains very active as a professional trombonist, backing-up artists Frankie Valli, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra Jr., Bobby Vinton, Bernadette Peters and The Temptations.
He has played in the big bands of Danny D’Imperio and Gap Mangione and is currently lead trombone with the CNY Jazz Orchestra, the Mario DeSantis Orchestra and the Bearcat Jass Band – all based in Syracuse.
2016 will see the first of his four original concert band works (“Atlas”) published and distributed by Alfred Music.
Palange resides in Oswego with his wife, Bobbie, who is a singer, former choral director at West Genesee and Oswego Middle School and former assistant conductor of the Syracuse Children’s Chorus Training and Junior choirs.