G. Stanton Selby was a composer-arranger, conductor and was the founding Director of the
Pomona Concert Band.
He was Professor Emeritus of Mt. San Antonio College, held a Bachelor of Music and
Master of Music degrees from the University of Southern California. Former Mayor of
the City of Pomona, and he was also an executive member of the Los Angeles County Music and
performing Arts Commission.
Born on August 23, 1920, Stan grew up in South San Francisco with its mixed population of
Italians and Portuguese. He started studying clarinet in grade school. Surrounded
by music, he played in local bands and ushered for the San Francisco Operas establishing his
love for great music.
During his college years at San Jose State University, Stan was "Principal Clarinetist"
in the concert band while earning spending money playing saxophone in local dance bands.
It was there in the music department in September 1941 that he met Helen. They were
engaged on November 30, 1942 but World War II temporarily put the wedding on hold while Stan
volunteered for service in the United States Coast Guard. On July 21st, 1943, Helen
Rees and G. Stanton Selby were married in Riverside.
Following the wedding, Helen and Stan were motivated to continue with their music education.
They left San Jose State and Stan enrolled in the University of Southern California as a clarinet
major. As a clarinet student of Antonio Raimondi, Stan gave his Master's recital July 29,
Upon graduation Stan got his first job as a music educators in Livingston, California as a
High School Director. Later that year he heard that Mount San Antonio College was looking
for a music instructor. Stan applied and was accepted.
An ad in the Pomona Progress Bulletin notified readers that George Churchill, commander of
the local American Legion, was conducting auditions for a director of a band being sponsored
by their post. Stan auditioned for the position and became a director of a small group of
17 to 20 musicians. The first concert by the Pomona Community Band was held on Sunday, March
14 in Ganesha Park. The program was free to the public.
Stan's position at Mt. San Antonio College was very successful. He introduced a series
of student recitals by performing with his wife Helen in a Duo Recital. He would frequently
invite students from the college to appear in the Community Band's concerts, providing a wide
display of talent.
The City of Pomona decided to build the Ganisha Park Community building, including a performance
shell. It was a home made structure but at least it belonged to the band. The
enthusiastic crowd response encouraged the city to build an improved bandshell adjacent to the
As the years passed, Stan's stature grew in Pomona. The city was looking for a man who
was an organizer and a promoter and Stan Selby was urged to run for an opening on the City
Council. He liked politics so well he later ran and was elected Mayor of the City of
Pomona. As Mayor, he continued being the director of the Pomona Community Band.
The band matured into a recognized national treasure. They were invited to tour Europe
and Japan. The Japanese were pleased to have an American Concert Band visit their country
and circulated the news through flyers and the press. It made little difference if members
of the band and members of the audience were unable to converse. Music, the universal
language, allowed communication to came across loud and clear.
His successful format for the Pomona Concert Band was being emulated by his fellow
directors. On November 5, 1995, Stan Selby's was recognized by a Certificate Of Special
Congressional Recognition For Outstanding And Invaluable Service To The Community, signed by
President Bill Clinton. On May 29, 2004, The American Legion presented G. Stanton Selby
with a Proud World War II Veterans Service To America award.
G. Stanton Selby passed away in November of 2004. In the shadow of his legacy the band
has continued to represent the City of Pomona in concerts thoughout Southern California.