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A Volunteer Community Orchestra in Winston-Salem, NC

Our Director: Mr. Danny Green

Danny Green was born in Winston-Salem and graduated from North Forsyth HS. He performed for three years as a Bandsman in the U. S. Army, received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from ECU and his Master’s Degree in Clarinet Performance from the UNCSA.  Mr. Green was formerly the Band Director at Mt Tabor HS.  Under his direction the Mt Tabor Band program grew from 40 to 180 members, received numerous superior ratings in grade levels IV through VI, placed over 200 students in the NWNC All-District Honors Band, and, for fourteen consecutive years placed more students in the WS/FCS Honors Band, and, the NWNC District Honors Band than any school in the WSFCS system.  In 1997 the Mt Tabor Band was featured in the International Band and Orchestra magazine. During the last year of his tenure the Mt Tabor Wind Symphony commissioned a new work for Band, and performed the world premiere, under the direction of Mr. Green, in historic Carnegie Hall. 

After leaving Mt Tabor, he served as the Band Director at Clemmons Middle School where in just three years the program grew from 130 to nearly 350 members.  Mr. Green has twice been elected “Band Director of the Year” by the Forsyth County Band Directors Association.  At the 1999 commencement ceremonies for the North Carolina School of the Arts, Mr. Green received an award for his outstanding contributions to music education in North Carolina.  He has also served as an assistant conductor for the UNCSA ‘Musica Piccola’ summer music camp, and twice conducted the UNCSA Wind Ensemble in concerts. In 1998 the Mt Tabor music department was featured in the international magazine, School Band & Orchestra, for their efforts in school wide cooperation between the Arts, Academics, and Athletics.

In 2001, Mr. Green was awarded the “Silver Baton Award” from the Kappa Kappa Psi fraternity at Appalachian State University.  He is a former conductor of the Winston-Salem Youth Symphony, and for several years performed with the Piedmont Wind Symphony, where he served as a clarinetist and guest conductor.  In February 2005, Mr. Green was chosen to conduct the 100 member “Western Region Repertory Orchestra“, held at Appalachian State University. 

In 2003, Mr. Green became Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Wachovia Winds Youth Wind Ensemble. In the past twenty years the Wachovia Winds Youth Wind Ensemble has served over 1,500 young musicians, from seven counties, in Piedmont North Carolina. In addition, the ensemble has commissioned and performed fifteen new works for wind band from very notable composers.

Mr. Green retired in 2013 from fulltime work, but remains very active and continues to work with bands throughout Piedmont NC. In 2015 Mr. Green was named as one of 12 “Chief Judges” for the NC Bandmasters Association.  In 2015, Mr. Green received the honor of being elected to the “Hall of Fame” at Mt Tabor High School. In 2019 the Shallowford Foundation created the annual “Rebecca and Danny Green” scholarship, given to an outstanding music student at West Forsyth High School.

Mr. Green resides in Clemmons, NC with his wife Rebecca.  They attend Clemmons Moravian Church where he has served as an Elder, and as Past-President of the Men’s Fellowship.

Our Previous Conductors

Maestro Peter Perret: 2018-2023

Born in Minnesota to a family of artists and scientists, Peter Perret is the Conductor Emeritus of the Winston-Salem Symphony, having served as Music Director from 1978 to 2004.  Previously, Perret had served the Buffalo Philharmonic as Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductor for three years, and before that he was Principal Conductor of the Capetown Symphony (South Africa).  He received advanced degrees in music from the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, Belgium and the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy.  He became the first staff Producer of music programs for the French-Swiss television network.

Perret frequently lectures on the relationship of music to learning and has co-authored the book (with Janet Fox), “A Well-Tempered Mind; Using Music to Help Children Listen and Learn,” aimed at parents and teachers, published by the Dana Press in 2004 and 2006 and available on Kindle. 

He is a founding member and former chairman of the board of directors of the Arts-Based charter school in downtown Winston-Salem.  He taught orchestral studies at the [University of] North Carolina School of the Arts for seven years.  He is a native French-speaker and has qualified (Praxis II in French in 2011) to teach French.  He has served as a long-term substitute teacher in the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School System.


Our Founding Director: 1984-2018


      James Basta 

  Founding Director

Founded in 1984 by James A. Basta, the Salem Community Orchestra has served as an outlet for the musical talents of professional and amateur musicians from all walks of life. The all-volunteer group gave their first concert in November of 1984. Since then, the orchestra has added members of diverse age, race, and background and performed in churches, hospitals, retirement centers, shopping malls, and more. Programs range from serious to light-hearted and encompass a wide variety of styles and levels of difficulty. 


Mr. Basta grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and studied piano and french horn. He attended the Eastman School of Music, graduating with a Bachelor's degree in French Horn, and began a distinguished 20 year career with the United States Marine Band, serving as principal French Horn, assistant conductor, arranger and worship service organist at the White House. He joined Trinity Moravian Church while living in the Washington D.C. area where he served as organist / choir director. He was also a vocal coach and conductor for the Arlington Theater Associates and the Prince Georges Civic Opera Company. In 1982, Jim and wife Beth moved to Clemmons, NC where he became organist / choir director at Home Moravian Church, and subsequently founded Little Symphony of Forsyth County and The Salem Community Orchestra.

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