Adjunct Professor of Music
Professor Al Byer's musical career began as an accordionist playing the musical bar circuit in Philadelphia and resorts in the Pocono and Catskill Mountains, plus weddings and other miscellaneous parties in the Delaware Valley area. In the U.S. Army he was Director of the Soldiers’ Chorus, played piano and baritone sax for the 424th Army band in El Paso, Tx., and was Musical Director of the U.S. Army show called ‘At Ease’ that toured the military bases in the southwest. As a member of Local 77 of the American Federation of Musicians, Al has played hundreds of dates for dozens of bands in the Philadelphia area and also plays Dixieland banjo. He had a four-year engagement as house piano player at the Fiddler’s Green restaurant in King of Prussia. Later in his career he moved from the bandstand to the stage as Arvide in Guys & Dolls, and Ed Peterson in Fiorello!
More recently he was a member of the Hunterdon County Barbershop Chorus and a member of the ‘Life Renewed’ barbershop quartet. Al’s favorite musical activity of late has been as a member of the Copper Penny Players for the past 12 years. The Copper Penny Players put on 4 musical revues a year usually at the Philips Mill Playhouse in New Hope, PA. Another Copper Penny singer, RoseMarie Farrell and Al formed a cabaret duo billed as RoseMarie and Al – Just Jazzin’ Around, performed principally at Chez Odettes’ in New Hope, plus various other venues. And now after six years as a physics teacher in the 60’s at Beaver College, Al returns as a newly minted (5 year) member of Arcadia’s Music Department. Al continues to be active in what has been his lifelong passion – music.