The Niwot Community Semi-Marching Free Grange Band

Meet Our Musicians--Band Member Bios

Name: Paul Schafer

Instrument: Trumpet

Uniform Selection: Syracuse Marauders Jr. Drum and Bugle Corps uniform, circa 1965

Paul began playing trumpet in fourth grade back in Syracuse, New York, where he grew up, and has been playing ever since.  Locally, he has played professionally for the Boulder Dinner Theater, but his musical career before coming to Colorado included performing with several nationally-known musicians. 

Paul played with the Stan Colella Orchestra, the official orchestra of the New York State Fair for 32 years.  He conducted the Syracuse, NY All-Star Band, my summer job for four years, and later hired me for some of the non-scholastic professional gigs,” Paul said.  “I'm very proud of some of the stuff I did when a bit younger....... (well, quite a bit younger...).”

It turns out that Paul has been holding out on us.  “Never seen in Niwot is the Selmer Paris 'Harry James Center Balance' trumpet I was able to 'squeeze out' of Stan,” Paul explained.  “Not for a parade debut, maybe next July.... “

Paul’s musical credits include playing for Jerry Vale, a recording artist of the 1950’s and 1960’s ( whose rendition of the National Anthem at was played in sports stadiums for years, and is enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Paul also played for Bobby Rydell, a teen idol of the 1950’s and namesake of Rydell High in the movie, “Grease.” (“My Jerry Vale and Bobby Rydell gig was a one week performance with the New York State Fair Orchestra, conducted by Stan,” Paul explained.  

Paul played professionally with Ray Shiner and Friends, of Syracuse during his college days. “I played with Ray both in Potsdam, NY, SUNY (off campus) where he was a professor, and I was lead trumpet in his legacy jazz ensemble, but more importantly, in Syracuse, when several of us students would commute to Syracuse just to rehearse in his basement, with him, his knowledge, and his hand written orchestrations.”

Shiner has been described as “a top woodwind studio musician in New York City, and a member of the historic Sauter-Finnegan Orchestra.”    Paul also performed with Tony Martin, who hosted a variety program on NBC and performed on radio, television and in films.

Paul has also played for The Four Aces, who had two Billboard Number One singles in the 1950’s with “Love is a Many Splendored Thing,” and “Three Coins in the Fountain.”  “The Four Aces gig was a one-night gig (aren't they all) at the Three Rivers Inn, Baldwinsville, NY, when some new owners tried to re-open a classic night spot for all the greats of the 50's and 60's. My peers of the day called me up from Binghamton, NY, to do the gig, which was the most important aspect of the night.....and getting brow beat by Al Alberts. Heck, I can't help it if the pianist has done the show about 1000 times and I'm sight reading it...sigh.....

Alberts was the founder of the Four Aces and later hosted an early and youthful version of American Idol. (There is no truth to the rumor that Paul appeared on the show in his younger days.) 

Paul gave up his musical career in New York and moved to Niwot 24 years ago.  He joined the Niwot Community Semi-Marching Free Grange Band soon after it formed and has been the leader of the trumpet section by acclamation.  

 Given his heritage and musical talents, it was no surprise when Paul added the Great Highland Bagpipe to his arsenal a few years ago.  He regularly performs in Estes Park at the Scottish Festival every fall.      

His band uniform of choice is an authentic Syracuse Marauders Jr. Drum and Bugle Corps uniform, circa 1965. 


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