Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

Minuteman Marching Band Memories, part 9

To resume the series of tales from my senior year with the UMass marching band, fall 1987 … and if you want a chuckle, this post is for you…

The Southern Tour, cont’d.: Day Two: Exhibition at Pottstown (PA) High School, Pottstown, PA

[] Chris had led the band in, I’d brought up the very rear, and Heidi had brought the drumline in, so Chris and I went and waited on the sideline until we saw her finish scouting out the area near a 35-yardline. “Chris,” I said, “it may be time to go meet the boss lady.” So we swaggered over. “Here’s the game plan,” she began. “We’ll stand on the 35, next to this formation. When the P.A. announcer asks if the band is ready, we’ll go to attention, mark time, forward march on a diagonal toward the podium about eight steps, mark time, halt, and salute.”

Ah, but would the Reading Buccaneer faithful in the crowd let her get away that clean? Never! The orchestrated shout came from the stands: “HEIDI IN A SKIRT?” Immediately Heidi burst into amazed laughter, while the bandos near us fought to stay still at attention. Chris and I just made faces at her. Seconds later, a yell when up, “LET’S GO HEIDI!” Which she answered, with admirable spontaneity, “YOU GOT IT!”

“Is the band ready?” I don’t know, but we’re relaxed.

[] During the Hoedown percussion feature, some of us (drum majors, twirlers, tubas) got to perpetuate a little more of our sideline Virginia Reel, and I shouted a warning: “Don’t slip.” Wet grass is NOT your friend. As it was, Howie [Kalfus ’91, pit percussionist] was wiping out all the time during Stars and Stripes. He needed to get from a xylophone on one end of the pit to a gong near the sideline on the far side. Every time he ran around the front of the pit and turned the corner to get to that gong, down he went. He looked like he was trying to steal second with a hook-slide.

The Southern Tour: Day Two: Overnight at Pottstown HS

[] At about 3 AM, I found myself dragged by my sleeping bag outside the building by Paul [Corazzini], Jim Guidice [’90, trumpet] and some other people whom I couldn’t identify. “We did it to Chris too, but we decided we didn’t want him to think he was being picked on.” Well, ya gotta be equal, always. Still, it was raining out there.

The Southern Tour: Day Three: Sunday, October 11, 1987

Great Adventure theme park, northern New Jersey

[] A legion of UMMB people went on The Buccaneer, a great huge swinging pirate ship ride. Back and forth, the great ship would swing, and when it hit its peak on one side, that side’s riders would cry, “TASTES GREAT!” … and at the other extreme, the other side’s occupants called out, “LESS FILLING!” (“Oh, that’s nothing,” said Heidi to me later. “George and I and the Reading Bucs would go on this thing after competitions and the shout would be ‘HOLY! … … … SH*T!’ … You’d see parents steering their kids away, blocking the kids’ ears…”)

To be, predictably, continued…

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October 6, 2010 - Posted by | band, drum corps, drum major, GNP, humor, marching band, music, UMMB

1 Comment »

  1. I was ON the Buccaneer, on the “tastes great” side. That was a GREAT day. The log plume was the best–we got SOAKED!

    Comment by Holly | October 6, 2010 | Reply


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