Hampton Roads Metro Band
The Hampton Roads Metro Band was first known as the Norfolk Fire Division Band, and was formed in 1930 by its first conductor, Pacific Romeo. After his death in 1970, he was succeeded by Hal Peterson. In 1981, the Norfolk Fire Department was no longer able to sponsor the band, at which time it adopted its present name.
The Hampton Roads Metro Band's membership dwindled to as low as 5 members until 1985 when Thomas Loffler became the conductor and the band membership increased to 20. Upon Mr. Loffler’s retirement in 1993, Larry Harrington, Master Chief Musician, US Navy (Ret), became the Metro Band Director. Under his direction, the band grew to more than 40 members. In 1999, Mr. Harrington moved to Oregon and Martin Pachey who was the retired director of Old Dominion University Musical Department became the Hampton Roads Metro Band’s director. Mr. Pachey retired in June 2001 and Andre Paquette, LCDR,USN [Ret], with BS Degree in Music, agreed to be the band’s director. Andre Paquette was joined by assistant directors Capt. Treg Ancelet, and Dick Schroeder in 2002. In January 2004, Mr. Paquette began teaching music in the Suffolk Public Schools.
Treg Ancelet became the band director until his transfer in April of 2005 to U.S. Army West Point Band as conductor. He turned the position of director over to the band’s present director, Dick Schroeder. Currently there are 45 to 60 members and the band proudly continues to provide music for the citizens of Hampton Roads.