The music is back! Boynton Beach band returns with new conductor

After a brief hiatus, Boynton Beach’s Gold Coast Band is back with a new conductor.

They had their first concert this month at the Civic Center and will follow with a Feb. 11 show 2 p.m. also at the Civic Center. The theme is For Love and Music and the band will perform popular love songs with standard band arrangements, familiar show tunes and traditional marches.

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Barbara Rubenstein, the band’s new conductor, moved about four years ago from Rochester, N.Y. She spent about 35 years as a band director or instrumental music teacher. She’s a member of the National Association for Music Education, the New York State School Music Association and the Florida Music Educators’ Association.

She replaces Ken Wilbanks who resigned this summer because of tension that had developed in the band. He also had health concerns.

Rubenstein said she’s brought a clean slate and wants to “get everybody actively involved again and making good music for the community and for them to share their talents with the city.”

The Gold Coast Band started in 1976 by James Buffan, who was a director of music for public schools in Niagara Falls, N.Y. before coming to Boynton. He started the band to create an avenue for culture in the community. Members of all ages volunteer and there are no requirements. The group has had four directors: Buffan from 1976 to 1991; DeVere Fader from 1991 to 2000; James Fader from 2000 to 2015 and Wilbanks.

Gold Coast began with about 15 members and now has about 50, Rubenstein said.

Rubenstein came to Florida to provide childcare for her grandchildren and join the music world here.

She was both a musician and a conductor in the Royal Palm Beach and New Gardens community bands.

“When this opening came for the Gold Coast Band I knew that that band had quite a nice reputation and I thought it would be interesting to pursue a head conductor job,” Rubenstein said. “I was starting to miss being on the podium.”

For information about the band, visit

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