George Seuffert, Sr. Bandshell is set in the lush environs of Forest Park in Woodhaven, New York, the bandshell accommodates 3,500 people and was renovated in 1977 with $204,751 in state and federal funds. In January of 1999, the bandshell was closed for an extensive, $3.4 million renovation funded by Borough President Claire Shulman. It reopened on June 11, 2000, with a ceremony attended by Seuffert Jr.’s widow Doris, Borough President Shulman, Commissioner Stern, and Mayor Giuliani.
Seuffert, Jr., was born on May 10, 1912, and began playing piano when he was four years old. Seuffert then served in the Marines during World War II, conducting the Third Marine Air Wing Band in the Pacific. He studied music at New York University, where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in education. Seuffert was named director of the Fordham University Band in 1951. In addition to being the chair of the music department at Bushwick and Grover Cleveland High Schools, he also served as an adviser for the Lighthouse Music School and the New York Association for the Blind.
In 1966, Mayor John V. Lindsay appointed Seuffert the City’s music consultant. Seuffert reportedly knew all the world’s national anthems and was responsible for performing them at diplomatic functions for the city. He is best remembered in this community for the free concerts the Seuffert Band gave every summer at this bandshell. By the time Seuffert died on May 9, 1995, in Narragansett, Rhode Island, the Seuffert Band was one of the last concert bands in the city. After Seuffert’s death, the Queens Symphony Orchestra began performing in the bandshell, continuing the tradition of free concerts.
The restoration improved the stage, arch, and comfort station, added lighting, a new sound system, new dressing rooms, made the bandshell wheelchair accessible, restored the terra cotta tiles, installed a movie screen, and new landscaping, and sidewalks along the parking lot. Thanks to these efforts, the Seuffert Bandshell is ready for another century of music and tradition.
George Seuffert, Sr. Bandshell is a major point in Forest Park. During the summer they have wonderful free concerts and children’s shows. There is usually something for everyone. It’s located near a picnic area where you can bbq and then walk a few feet to the bandshell and may see a show or hear a concert.
It’s also in a beautiful somewhat secluded area of Forest Park, it is dubbed as one of the loveliest locations in Woodhaven. There is a lot of shelter from the amazing trees and many benches to sit on if you want to relax with a cup of coffee after a hike. It’s always peaceful and some even take a nap here.
To this day, the bandshell has become a platform for performances and music concerts wherein locals can partake by performing or as an audience. It has a nice, clean, outdoor amphitheater with superb quality of acoustics thanks to the trees surrounding the place. The place also shows movies on Thursdays. Recently, a program was held called “Movies under the stars” to encourage people to help live somewhat normally when the pandemic hit.
George Seuffert, Sr. Bandshell a beautiful and peaceful place, is considered to be nature’s bliss right in the neighborhood. If you’re in the city, and you want to relax or get yourself and the family entertained, you should check the place out. The location is easy to get to and has plenty of parking space. The area is also really well kept. The park rangers definitely keep it clean. It can be tricky to get to via public transportation but it’s not impossible.
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