[sticklist] - Bandsman: A Request for Help

Richard Forno rforno at infowarrior.org
Wed May 5 15:56:55 CDT 2010

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While the Sticklist is not a list dedicated to VF fundraising, every so often something crosses my inbox that I think warrants passing along to support a worthwhile project that directly impacts the Cadet experience.  Although I am a proud Corpsman, I am relaying one such request to support the VFMAC Regimental Band. ;)  Please pass it along to any Bandsmen you may know, or if you want to participate yourself, by all means feel free -- this is not a Band-only thing.


- -Rick Forno '90 '92C
Sticklist Administrator

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Dear fellow Bandsmen,

For every generation of alumni as well as the thousands of guests who have enjoyed the parades at Valley Forge Military Academy and College, one of the most memorable moments is the first sighting of the Band as it leads the Corps of Cadets onto the parade field.  For many, that moment is the incomparable sound of a stirring march.  For others, it is the sight of the Drum Major executing a flawless set of commands with the mace.  The Drum Major's scarlet tunic, followed by the musicians' precise marching and performing, sets the tone for the remainder of the parade.  Later, as the Band performs Sound Off, cracking into its signature step of slow march, the resulting round of applause is acknowledgment of a unique tradition performed by only one unit.

Throughout its history, the Band has been led by Bandmasters who have become the subject of legend.  For many, it is D. Keith Feltham.  For more recent alumni, it is Danny Jaynes.  And, today, the Bandmaster who will lead the Valley Forge Band into its next era of greatness is Phil Evans.  Many have identified Mr. Evans as "the next Duke."

At the 2010 Homecoming weekend, Bandmaster Evans made a request of the Band alumni.  There are two projects that he needs funded, and many have already expressed their willingness to assist.

First, the full dress mace, carried by so many Drum Majors over the years, is in very fragile condition.  Like the original herald trumpets that were recently placed in the VF Museum when new horns were acquired, the mace needs to be retired to its place of honor before it suffers irreparable damage.  Bandmaster Evans has identified a master craftsman who can replicate the mace, down to retaining the distinctive images of the VF crest and George Washington kneeling in the snow, surrounded by the name of the school.  Using a detailed written description of specifications, photographs of the full dress mace, and a very old mace head as a model, the new mace will serve future generations of the Band.

Second, the Band has an opportunity to return to England in December to represent Valley Forge Military Academy and College in the annual Lord Mayor of London's New Year's Day Parade.  This event attracts participants from throughout Europe and the world.  For anyone who has witnessed the thousands of cheering spectators as the Valley Forge Band marches by in the parade, it is a moment of incredible pride.

So, what do we need from the greatest group of Valley Forge Military Academy and College alumni?  From former Drum Majors, we ask for your generous financial support to replace the mace.  Who better to understand the emotional connection of this iconic symbol of the Band than those who had the privilege to carry it?  

For every other Band alumnus, we hope that each one of you will give to the young members of today's Band the unforgettable experience of representing Valley Forge to the rest of the world in London this December.  We need your support to make this happen!

Your contribution can be sent directly to Bandmaster Evans, with a notation that it is restricted for one (or both) of the two purposes described above.  Mr. Evans will maintain a record of all contributions, work with the Finance Office to establish a restricted fund, and coordinate with the Development Office to ensure that all gifts are recorded and acknowledged.  If you have already made a gift in this fiscal year that ends June 30th, you may include a notation that your gift should be credited to the 2010-2011 fiscal year beginning on July 1st.   Mr. Evans can be reached at pevans at vfmac.edu or at 610-989-1252 if you have questions or wish to otherwise further support the Band.

We all share an experience at Valley Forge that sets us apart from every other alumnus in her long history.  We were in the Band.  No one else can lay claim to that honor and that privilege.

Courage, Honor, Conquer.

Dave Haught '77, '79C
Band Captain, Drum Major
Dan Wolfe '74 '76C
Band 2nd Lieutenant, Drum Major
John Rapp '74C
Band 1st Sergeant

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