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Steve Manchester


I was born in Portland and grew up in Windham where my family has lived since 1738.  While growing up I was in scouting and participated in 3 sports.  After High School I attended the University of Maine, graduating with a degree in Electrical Engineering.  While still in college, I married my wife Sally, whom I had met in High School. 
I grew up listening to the music of the 30's and 40's.  My mom played piano and dad the harmonica.  In the 4th grade I started taking lessons through the school music program and soon changed to private lessons with Mal Lary, a former player with the Glen Miller Band.  By 7th grade I was playing in the Windham High/Community Band.
The first LP I bought while still in Jr. High was "Lawrence Welk Plays Dixieland" with Pete Fountain on clarinet.  Early into High School I was playing with the "Starbird All Star Jazz Band" and a rock and roll group called "Ronnie and the Comets".
I stopped playing in 1962 while I finished school, persued a career, backpacked and hiked in the mountains, spent 40 years farming, and traveled the world as part of my job as Chief Engineer for my company.
In 1987 I helped start the Fanfare Concert band and have played with them for 28 years.  During that time I have played with "The S.D.Warren Band", The "Bridgton Community Band", and play annually with "Southern Maine All Star Concert Band". 
I have played in two saxophone quartets, one of which I started, and with "The Music Makers Big Band", and "The Victory Swing Band". I joined "Saco River Jazz Ensamble" in 2013 shortly after moving to Hollis.  Started as a sub I played Bari and 2nd Tenor before moving to first.
Tenor sax was my only instrument until 1985 when I added Alto and Beri and later Soprano.  I have always had "tenor ears".  It is my best instrument for improvising melodies.
Alone the way I became a collector and currently own 9 saxophones including a 100 year old beautifully restored C Melody.
My mom has been in Gorham House since 2010 and has advanced Alzheimer's. It pleases me and her when we go there to play.
Gigs and rehearsals are the highlight of my week.  In the meantime I have to practice, and keep busy with yard work, gardening and with various construction projects.