HOME

MEMORIES
----BAND

Questions or comments may be directed to:
John Rafalak

BAND MEMORIES

Click on a year to Jump to that sectoin

Anyone recognize this picture??? Know what year it was taken??? Please email us if you do.

1963/64
Okay how about the pre-Shahin era. For those of you graduating after 1967
this could be known as the "Thier" era. I don't remember any highlights
from this year - John Kelly


Summer 1964 or 1965

I think Mr. Thier was still leading us. We had the famous Irondequoit 4th
of July parade. I believe it was the Point Pleasant Fire Department's Pea
Pickers for whom about 2 dozen hard core band members showed up and marched
that day. Our musical repertoire that day consisted of "On Wisconsin" 4
times.

- John Kelly


1965

I started at BK in the Fall of '65. We had no drummers and worked very hard to build a small line. I remember the Band had little talent and Ray wrote The Music from the TV Show [ Ben Casey] It was easy, but a good
Arrangement. I must have taken part of '66 off because Guy Ianello was teaching for a while. However, I was there in '67-'72 for sure. I was married in Sept '67 and Father Waite gave my lessons to become Catholic
before the Wedding and Brother Tracy is my God Father. They both attended my Wedding.
-Doug Kleinhans (Drumline Instructor '67-'72)


1967

    Along with many, many incredible memories of participating in the musicals, color guard, and concert band, one in particular stands out as an example of how understanding and patient Mr. Shahin was when one of us wanted to 'play' music.  My senior year, after participating in a lot of music related activities at BK, I really wanted to be in the concert band since marching season was done.  I had played violin from grade 4 through 8, and really wanted to be part of that kind of music group again.  I begged Mr. Shahin to teach me how to play the upright string bass so I could participate in the band.  When he could have easily turned me away, he instead gave me a few lessons after school during precious 'spare' time and I joined the concert band that year -- it was so wonderful.     I continued to play the bass in folk groups, both in church and community venues, at "Hootinanny's" (sp?), first with Kearney grad Debbie DiBiase Turbide '67, then with another local group at coffeehouses around town, and when I turned twenty, I purchased my own bass, named him "Fred" (in honor of the bass in the band room! - remember?) and to this day, play him every week at our 9AM Mass at church here in El Cajon, CA, east of San Diego, CA., and occasionally at other events as well!     Along with that, music has been my 'hobbie' as I have raised two sons, Jason, age 20, and Kevin, age 18, with my husband here in California.  I took up the flute for awhile, am currently taking singing lessons, and have been in the 'chorus' for over 8 years in musical productions put on by a semi-professional theatre group here called "Lyric Opera San Diego", where they do what I call light operas and heavy musicals.  I was first in "Fiddler on the Roof", and have done shows such as "The Merry Widow", and several Gilbert and Sullivan operas.  It has been an amazing experience -- they draw chorus members and minor roles from the community, but use 'equity' and professional actor/singers for the main roles, and I have met some great and talented people both from here and across the country -- such fun!     All of this began with musical roots at Kearney, under the direction and tutelage of Mr. Shahin (and Br. Heathwood).  From the bottom of my heart, "Thank You!" -- and see you all at the reunion.    

- Eileen Kennedy Brown '67


We led the NYC St. Patrick's day parade in a snow storm. The weather was so cold that by the end of the parade our proud band was pretty much reduced to drums, bells and squawks. In the brass most valves and slides were frozen and in the wind sections keys were frozen in place and saliva frozen in the finger holes. Back on the bus afterwards, we sat around and
physically pried the color guard's fingers off their flags. They were virtually frozen in place. Those girls were tough....
- John Kelly


Click on the picture to see a larger image

1967

"First Major road trip, marched in St. Pat's Parade in NYC, led by Drum Majorette Melanie Cowan and Color Guard Captain Sally Morrisette. and master trumpeter Tom Tuzzeo"


Click on the picture to see a larger image


Spring Concert 1967



1968




1968


 


Twirlers start up (or was it 69?) and add sparkle and grace to
band, under direction of Ms. Doris Britt" (And suffered the most on those
cold cold March days!) NYC for St. Pat's again, and we marched lots of
football games--for the Bills, the Toronto Argonauts, the U of R....

"We all thought we were Democrats, but we played for Nixon in '68 "



1968
 
Pat Walsh had a typical Upstate reaction to NYC and hung a full white Irish moon out his window in the Hotel New Yorker.
 
Anonymous


 

Spring Concert 1968




1969

"First trip to Ireland!! We marched in Dublin, Waterford, Cork,
and drove to Tipperary. We ate oxtail soup, we watched George Bernard Shaw play on
HARD chairs, we watched Irish school dancers and we kissed the Blarney
stone. It took too well for some of us! Sleep deprivation set in as
band members proved their party animal spirit"

- Kathe Kilmer '70


Click on the picture to see a larger image


In December of 1969, I had the worst luck I have ever had. On the first Tuesday of the month, I had an accident with the '67 Falcon - the car went into the shop. (Mrs. Bonsignore told the cop that it wasn't my fault.) The next Tuesday, I had to drum for the twirlers, so I stayed at school and walked down to the Tops store. (Remember that? It was down about where the Irondiquoit Mall is.) On the way out, I fell and wound up with a whole lot of stitches. After I was discharged, I insisted that my parents take me down to BK, so that I could tell the twirlers that I had not abandoned their practice. When I walked in, it was the nicest memory I have of BK. All the girls were worried about my injury. (By that time I was swollen, but still presentable.) That same night I had to explain to Br. Crane why I didn't have My lab reports done.
- Jay Vee '70




"STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS!!! Marifran Kraseski led the band, Marge Cramer led the color guard, and Joanne Spiegel led the twirlers, and the trumpet section soared led by 69'ers star players Joe Galante & Joe
Keown, and not to be outdone class of 70's George Conte and Gil Smith and many more!"




"The Clements family keeps the color guard on beat with Doris
Clements as moderator, and son Jim as drummer."

In 1969 we were four and four (snares and tenors). In 1970, we were three and five (snares and tenors). I think, when I inherited the line, we had five or six snares, and the rest as you remember. That was one of the proudest times of my life. I was being PAID to write, and my compositions were being performed. I was loving life.
The Tri-Toms were actually Tri-Bases. Remember "La Bohem" - duh duh di da. (Ascending eighth notes <grin>) I think that we actually came up with the idea - we didn't have enough people to populate the base drums. So - turn two into horizontal bases and let some fool carry three. If I remember, you were going for a tuned base line of about five. We wound up with only three players. ('68-'69 was a short year for talent.) As I remember it, Mike B. Tom Erb, and rest of us got together in the summer of 1968, and built the Tri-Base from 'stuff' we had around.
I have many memories of the BK Drumline. One of the best memories I have is that my eldest niece wound up being head of the drumline in the late eighties.
-Jay Vee (AKA John Vogt)


Memories of Dublin, 1969-1970
My very first menory of Dublin was the reception we were treated to just after we arrived in Dublin from the plane. They served us hot tea and biscuits, and they sure tasted wonderful! I remember that they poured hot tea and hot milk in equal amounts simultaneously from identical pots. This was the first time I felt that the Irish considered us quite special.

Some of the boys were put up in the Central Hotel in downtown Dublin. It was an old hotel, and it showed its wear. the carpets were threadbare and the wallpaper was yellowed with age. Tom Erb and I had squirtguns and if we sprayed the walls the wallpaper went even more yelow, so we called it "instapiss walls". We had great waterfights in the halls of the Central. We introduced Ireland to Chocolate peanutbutter, which we made before coming over and we ate in our rooms.

I was born on St. Patrick's Day, and so I felt quite special to be in Ireland on my birthday with such a great group of young men and women. I recited the "Gettysburg Address" every year on my Birthday in Ireland. One year (1969?) on St. Patrick's Day there was a folk concert the band attended and they gave out door prizes. They called my number and when I stood up everyone in the band cheered, because of course they all knew it was my birthday. The prize was . . . a bottle of Hennessey Cognac! Needless to say I was not allowed to keep it. Andy Korts kept it safe for me
until the end of the trip. Only thing is: it was about 3/4 full when I got it back in the Monroe County Airport.
Tom (Tater) Walsh '71


 



1970

I was always facinated by Doug Kleinhans' compositional skills. In the summer of '69, before the State Championships, Ray decided that his part to "La Bohem" was not right. He threatened to write the part himself. Well- I couldn't allow that. I voulentered to re-write the part to his specifications. My parents were 'tailgating' that night (as they did many nights that summer) and noticed that I had disappeared. I rewrote the part (keeping the important parts), copied the parts and taught it in one evening.
-Jay Vee (AKA John Vogt)


"Back to Ireland again. << I can't remember which events went with which year, my memories are pretty vague.....Steve Coulombe on the sax, Mike Mueller on the trombone, backed up by Ray's very own recruits ("Girls make great trombone players, come on you can do it!) Kathe Kilmer, Teri McLaughlin, Margo Ciak and don't forget Nancy Noel '71. Speaking of trombones, did Greg Smith lok like a trombone player or what? With Bobby Walsh by his side, always laughing at everyone's jokes!?"

"Drums and More: 69'ers Jim Clements, Doug Smits, John Rafalak, and Gary DeBurgomaster set the pace, Mike Bianchi'70 , Ray Shaheen '70, JV and Jim DiTucci carried on, and the class of 71 drum section flourished and gave us the beat with band president Tom Erb, Joe Holland, Ed Kraseski, Chris Florack and our much loved very own Tom Walsh."


 

In 1969-1970 season Tom and Tater got it in their heads that THIS year Brother Tracey was coming with us to Ireland. (Br. Tracey; in good conscience, could not let the school pay his way.) Tom and Tater enlisted the whole band to raise the ticket money so that Br. Tracey could go with us to Ireland. So, we raised money covertly, with the help of Andy Korts, the Bianchi's and others.
We raised the money for the ticket.
I believe that it was at a concert in the auditorium that we presented the ticket and asked him to join us. The happy ending to this story would be he joined us in Ireland.
 
Instead; he burst out in tears and ran off the stage. He felt that he could not accept our gift. I do not remember his comments; but (if I remember correctly) another member of our senior class got to go to Ireland.

Jay Vee
'70

Click on the picture to see a larger image


Cahir - do you folks remember the lunch time concert we did? 30+ years after the fact, I will own up to the fact that I am responsible for that performance in Cahir.
We were traveling through Ireland (in uniform) when the lunch bell sounded. We happened to stop in the town of Cahir. Well, I knew of this town. I had a pen-pal who went to school in this town, and the school was just down the street. I asked Mr. Korts if I could go down the street to meet this person instead of lunch. He allowed it.
Imagine the response of the townspeople seeing a young man dressed in a West Point  uniform, walking down the Main Street of their town!
When I got to the Convent School, (yes there's a girl involved here), I was told that I would have to talk to the Mother Superior before I could talk to my pen-pal. I did what any young American would have done at that time and said "Sure, I'll speak to her."
My mistake. This little old nun came out and proceeded to give me the third degree! "What is this uniform?  Where do you come from? Are your intentions honorable?" (All within what seemed like 5 seconds. No time for a response.)
I must have stammered out correct responses to the questions; because she let me take Miss Mary Smythe back to the restaurant where the Band was having lunch.
However; she sent me with very clear marching orders, Mary was to make a request that The Marching Kings" play for the town.
So; Mary and I walked down (yes; it was down) to the restaurant and I presented Mary to Ray. Seeing a chance to perform, Ray grabbed at it.
I then had to escort Mary back to the school (Mother Superior making it clear that I was responsible).
We played the book in the town square. The Mother Superior let the school out to hear us. Mary was a heroine for a while. And me? I never did get lunch that day. But I got to meet a person I had corresponded with. And that was enough.
 
 
John (Jay Vee '70)

 


Who can remember when Mary Kay Hamil's three year old brother backed their mother's car into Ray Shahin's fence during a band party in 1970?


"Actually, the Steve story goes like this: my mom was parked across thestreet on Kiniry Drive dropping off church stuff, (She was always on every committee at Saint Ambrose) and left Stevie in the car. Stevie put the car in gear...it rolled backward down the hill and flattened Mr. Shahin's pool fence. Ray was super cool about it, but I was mortified, as only a teenager can be. It was also the year that Ray Shahin had the rule that seniors in
the band and guard could and must go on the Ireland trip, regardless of tryouts. God bless Ray, because the head guy from Aquinas disqualified me in my senior year (because I was dating one of his "boys"?).
I was devastated. Despite the fact that my little brother totaled his pool fence the month before, Ray Shahin gave me...(and every other senior that year) a major break in 1970, and I got to go to Ireland. An unforgettable trip!"

"Here's a pix of me with Stevie (36) who is now 6' 4" and a very responsible environmental consultant with various fiberoptic installations: ("You can't dig here...it's a frog habitat") and Bill (42), a computer tech for Microsoft, Anne Marie (40), who is in West Hollywood working on the HBO show "Curb your Enthusiasm" as a propmaster, and baby Libby (32), a caterer, born in my senior year, lives five blocks from me here in SF--I see her almost every day.
See you all in July!" -Mary Kay (Hamill) Mitchell Color Guard '70




"In memorial: 70-71 These players will be missed greatly: Mary Kraus
'70, Tom Terreri, Joe Holland and Tom Olejarski '71"

Letter from Kathe Kilmer, Vice Chair “What This Reunion Means to Me”


I am writing this letter in hopes of explaining a bit about this reunion and how it came about from my perspective, other committee members have their own, of course!
I joined the band the first month of school having absolutely no musical experience whatsoever. I was a washout in chorus at St. Margaret Mary’s, having a problem with not getting through a song without yawning. Plus my voice was not going to be my ticket anywhere. But I loved music and wanted to be a part of it. Lessons in elementary school cost money and coming from a large family not an option.
Then I came to BK, and guess what! Free lessons and a very enthusiastic band director, who was very encouraging when I wandered down to the band room and asked if I could possibly play bells or something else that would appeal to a 14 yr old female. But Ray Shahin had his own agenda, and his vision was much bigger than mine. “Trombones are what we need, and girls make great trombone players!” Adding something about big mouths which I don’t recall meant mine in particular or females in general. No matter, whatever, I wanted IN! But, being only so brave, (and not a bad salesman, I might add) I tripped back to class with one goal in mind: getting more girls to take trombone with me, in numbers was safety. I stood up in front of the class and pitched the deal. Margo Ciak and Teri McLaughlin were intrigued and now we were 3.
My wonderful parents sprung for the trombone. I practiced constantly. Trombones are very loud. My family relegated me to the basement, and I played “Tonight” and “Maria” til they all could not bear it, begging me to move on to other selections. My father soundproofed the basement. They lobbied for me to play with my mute, but it’s not the same. I prevailed, and they scattered.
And so my band trip fantastic began. The three of us girls got good enough to play a few songs in time for a trip to NYC for St. Pat’s—wow, this was an added bonus, not even on our radar screen at the time!—I believe we were instructed to fake a couple other songs, and not blow! (I snuck in a few notes here and there, for better or worse, I couldn’t resist)
The next year again saw us in NYC for St. Pat’s, along with many other trips, to play for whoever was important or in need of some “occasion” --we were there. Then of course, our junior year was the first trip to Ireland, with a repeat our senior year, and many memorable moments.
I learned to play music, I learned to love music, I learned to appreciate music in a way that I am convinced if you never play you can’t do. No matter what is happening in my life, music can always, well, “take me higher”!
Through it all were my fellow band members as well as twirlers and color guard to form a myriad of friendships. Then there was Ray himself! What a trip! Fellow friend and classmate Jan Koetter reminded me of his nervous “hip / elbow twitches”. Oh yes, I used to think it was the music in him, just trying to get out!
Being in the band under Ray meant many things, the top two being:
1. Be prepared!
2. Be prepared to suffer if you were not prepared!
Every one of us probably got yelled at, and yes, sometimes unjustly-- ( Ray, I want to tell you, it wasn’t me giggling that time you made me put my mouthpiece in my pocket-- Oh the shame, although I am sure the other trombonists, especially Mike Mueller, were amused) but after a little self righteous sputtering, I was back in my “groupie” mode of totally adoring him and the level of excellence that I worked hard at to share. And the antics of my fellow band members! Such personalities! Combine them with Ray, and it was showtime! Some of the standoffs—maybe I should say, interactions—were memorable.
Love him or hate him, being in the Marching Kings and the musicals made you feel special, and haven’t we all needed to have times in our lives when we felt special, when we were all part of a group each needing the others to put it all together, when we felt that we were truly in the pursuit of excellence!
I salute Ray, his musical talent, his drive, his humor, his intensity, his vision, and I salute as well the talents of Br. Heathwood, and his similar relentless pursuit of excellence (remember how red his face would get when some hapless soul screwed up and he shared his feelings up close and personal!?? The darkness of the pit kept me safe!)
I salute the talented students that surrounded me—the perfection of the color guard moves, the razzle dazzle of the twirlers, the incredible voice and performances I got to watch first hand in the pit band, the wonderful dancers, the scenery painters and stage crew excellence, all were part of this great high school experience. Playing for the parents for their showtimes, great performances with some tongue and check laughs thrown in. Again, a quote from Jan: “We will remember these days for the rest of our lives!”.
I went on to college, and joined a college orchestra that was, well, just an orchestra. We showed up, played as best we could, and went back to our dorms. No high expectations, just whatever we could do. Believe me, it was not even CLOSE to the same experience.
This is why, 30+ years later, with many, many other experiences that I have had where my band experience has stood me in good stead, I made this commitment to help Tom Erb organize this unique one time event. Believe me, with a job at Kodak, 2 young teenagers, and many ongoing activities, finding time to work on this has been a challenge.
My reward will be to see so many of old friends and to also let Ray and Brother Heathwood and Doris Britt all the band moderators who did so much for us—thank you all! Please know how much I appreciated all your contributions to my great high school experience, both being in the marching and concert band and just as important to me, the pit band for the musicals. (I wasn’t good enough for the jazz band; they were great) A special thank you for Ray for taking a chance on me and others who were just as green and giving us such an opportunity! I am sorry that we waited so long to do this and that some of these teachers and parents are no longer with us to share this occasion.
You each may have totally different feelings and experiences and reasons to come. Some of you had some less sanguine memories than me. But I am betting that whatever time you spent in the band or color guard or twirlers or musicals did have some bright spots, they had to! So I hope you can all find the time on your busy schedules if possible to come celebrate those feelings and revisit friends. I know for many of you your weekend has graduation parties and weddings—but slip away for an hour or two to come and join with us in a unique celebration of our memories and be a group once again and renew good friendships. Sincerely, Kathe Kilmer ’70
PS I even named my daughter “Kerry” after “Kerry Dancers”! And I have “made” both kids play in either band or orchestra. (violin and French horn, their choices, I lobbied for trombone but no dice). They whine about quitting occasionally, and I say “this is not an option, you must play”. So, Ray Shahin, your influence stretches into the next generation as well!
Last but not least, wait til you hear the 3 CDs we have put together from the 6 band albums—a few scratches, but nonetheless, they will blow you away! As Art Keegan our CD master said to me, “We rocked! Put one of these babies on while you are in the garden or washing the car, or better yet, sitting back and enjoying a brewski, crank it up and enjoy!”

 


"Two Brushes with Heresy"
"During one of our trips to Ireland (our class went junior and senior year) we went to Mount Sion high school in Waterford, home of the Christian Brothers' founder, Brother Edmund Rice, where we had a dinner with some of
the students. After dinner, a couple of the boys invited Brian Smith and me outside and over to a mausoleum to show us where the crypt of Brother Rice was. They then proceeded to take a loose stone out of the crypt at the
base and demonstrate how they could reach inside and rattle the poor bones of the occupant! They invited us to also shake the bones (for good luck?!) but we were too spooked and worried we would be eternally damned for such irreverence, so we politely declined! (Editor's Note: In 1979, his remains were moved from the mausoleum to a new Chapel, and hopefully his bones entered a more peaceful state! He was beatified as a saint in 1996 http://members.tripod.com/waterfordhistory/mount_sion.htm)

Another memory in Ireland was on a Sunday morning Brian and I went out to go to church around the corner from the hotel. We sat through the whole Mass, noting how unusual it was to receive chunks of bread rather than wafers for the communion ceremony. We didn't realize until we were leaving that we had gone into an Episcopalian church! We figured we had done our Sunday obligation though, no need to go again to a
Catholic one, they were close enough!" -Mike Thomas, Sax '70


The Mayor's Reception
After leading the St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin our first trip there, the band et al were hosted at a reception by the mayor. It was a fine affair, and the surprising big treat was--WAITERS WITH DRINKS!! Right there for the asking, and if memory serves, served up on linen lined trays. Serious alcohol,
just the thing for a group of underage teens! I enjoyed this hospitality immensely, to the point where either I realized I'd had enough (unlikely, as it's still an at times elusive skill) or a friend alerted that responsible adults were looking for offenders. In either case, the last drink I helped myself to was grapefruit juice. Fortunately, as soon thereafter Ray Shahin came by to ask "what was I drinking?" Not believing the answer, he insisted on smelling the glass, which prompted a "Good!". And I escaped.
You can imagine the slow panic that must have come over our overseers as they realized "Good god!! Drunken kids!!" I've since told this story to British friends and the response was "Sure. Somebody mistakenly figured. 'Ah, a marching band, a hard drinking lot that'll be' and served up refreshments accordingly."
End of story--after the drinks were put away and the mayor's speech rolled on, I was standing in the middle of the audience and decided to take a picture of the mayor with my new-for-the-trip Instamatic. Snapped one, the roll finished, and the self-winding wonder proceeded to grind very loudly very long on the
rewind. A rather tall fellow stood red-faced in the crowd, then for a couple of reasons!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PS Still have the Irish knit sweater bought on that trip, an unbleached wool one I've always liked (but heavy as it is, not so often worn). Son Zane is about to take it over, once I've persuaded him it's never been washed and he'll have to keep it that way!
Brian Smith, clarinet, Class of '70


Ireland - 1970

Memories of St. Kevin's Kitchen
       One of my most vivid memories of Ireland was of a place in the Wicklow Mountains called Glendalough.  It was at one end of a lake, and it had a church called St Kevin's Kitchen, a tower like the ones all over Ireland used by the Irish monks to hide from the Vkings, and a churchyard (ancient gravestones).  Such a beautiful, peaceful place.  I would have loved to have spent hours there, but of course we only had minutes to visit, before they herded us on the bus to another place. 
       I was married in 1985 to Elaine, and we honeymooned in Ireland.  We visited the Central Hotel (it was a dance studio when we visited it).  We visited Glendalough, and I spent at least an hour wandering around the ruins there.  It was every bit as peaceful as I remember it.  We visited Bunratty Castle, but we didn't attend the banquet there, as the band had.  We instead attended the banquet at the neighboring  Knappogue Castle.  The floor show was different, but the meal wasn't much different from Bunratty.  Our waiter found out we were married, and of course he kept our cups filled with mead (which is wine specially made for honeymooners). 
Tom (Tater) Walsh '71


 

1971

How did the Local 537 ever come about? On my first day of my senior year as band president I approached Ray Shahin and ask what we had to do to get started for the Ireland trip. Ray said that we were not going to Ireland as the above story (Brian Smith’s) confirmed that the drinking was a problem for the school’s liability. He said the Brother Tracy was the decision maker.
I headed up to the principal’s office and spoke to Brother Tracy. He said there was no way the band was traveling out of the U.S. unless he had a guarantee that the student would not drink. To prove to Ed Tracy that the band could handle this task no one in the band could get in any kind of trouble during any of it trip or activities.
The master plan was quite simple. Student chaperons. Five leaders were selected from the band, color guard or twirlers. These leaders divided the band up into 5 equal groups. One of the leaders was Tom Walsh who created the famous Local 537. This local ended up doing all the dirty work at functions but usually had the best time for years to come.
The traditions of this group lasted for many years.
Tom Erb


What I know about Local 537
I love Tom Erb, and he's got it right about the Local 537, but his story is not complete. Let me fill in some details, as I remember them. He needed dishwashers for the first band pancake breakfast we ran, and no one was signing up for that task, so Tom gave the job of recruiting dishwashers to me. I wrote this funny little story about how much pride the Local 537 Dishwashers Union has, and how much fun they have, and how nice it will be to work in the local 537, and I got a bunch of people to sign up! The day of the breakfast we dishwashers made a big fuss about washing dishes in a
certain way, and got many of the band members interested in the dishwashing room there in the cafeteria. Periodically, we'd close the gate and sing a few songs, and that really generated interest among the people outside. They kept coming in to sing with us. For the next pancake breakfast, everyone wanted to join the Local 537 Dishwashers Union, and so it continued. In the late 70s I went to a band pancake breakfast and the Local 537 was still running, thought no one knew where it came from, so I told the dishwashers there the story of its beginnings.
It was a wonderful time!
Tom (Tater) Walsh '71


 

I had the Tenors play conventional Grip so that when they became better drummers they could move them
to Snare. I was always thinking a year or two ahead. Producing drummers at BK was like a Factory's Production Line.
-Doug Kleinhans (Drumline Instructor 67-72)


Long before I joined the BK band I loved Tchaikovski's "1812 Overture". I took to directing recordings of it, and I did so a few times in the band room. It probably was for that reason that Ray decided to do that piece for the 1971 spring concert and he made me the cannon man. Now, simulating cannons indoors is no easy task. Not only the sound, but the timing were crucial. There are 16 shots (not actually scored, but traditional), and they are in very precise places. How to get the right sound, and the timing right? I tried Br. DeLibero's track pistol, firecrackers, and sledge hammers on large cans, but nothing worked. A friend (remember Dwaine Faso?) had a shotgun which gave me timing control, but it didn't sound very good. Finally, I found that if I stuck it in a cast iron sewer pipe, I'd get the proper sound. I needed to load shells fast, so Dwaine loaded shells as I was to fire at percisely the right point in the score. On the day of therehersal I pointed the sewer pipe up over Ray's head and at the ceiling of the auditorium. I thought that would be a safe place to point it. I was wrong. The piece sounded great till the time of the first shot. I fired, and the concussion of the shot and the packing in the shell grazed Ray's head. He jumped off the podium and ran up the aisle. The entire band in front of the pipe ducked for cover. But the brass just played faster, and I was listening to them. I got off five shots before I realized that Ray was not conducting and half the band was on the floor. I stopped and stood up, stunned at the destruction I had done. Ray recovered quickly and promised to ship me off to Siberia where I could fire off my gun and not hurt anyone.
After some discussion, we decided to point the pipe into the left wing of the stage, and we prepared to continue with the rehersal. Alas and Alak, we were in for some more trouble. The stage curtains (large, heavy black curtains) were too close to the muzzle of the pipe. With the first shot into the wing, the concussion and the packing blew four holes into the curtain. Finally, the curtains (and everything else) well away form the muzzle of the pipe, the rehersal went without further problems, and the concert, that Friday, was a huge success. Several people told me that was the best concert they heard, and wanted to have that "1812 Overture put on one of the albums, but I never was recorded for that purpose.

- Tom (Tater) Walsh '71


///\\\:::///\\\ ::::///\\\ ///\\\:::///\\\ ::::///\\\ ///\\\:::///\\\::::///\\\
HI! :::: :::: :::: from L o u i Z e C h r i s t e n s e n,
Snare/Drumline, 1971-1974
It?s just great to read, hear, and see all these wonderful band memories! I am lovin? it!
Here are a few of my favorites!

///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\
/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\
S T A T E C H A M P I O N S H I P S
1 9 7 1
The summer practices for State Championship: Tom Erb, Mike Bianchi, Jimmy Clements, and JV decided to ?whip? the drumline into shape. Drum picnics at Durand Eastman Park, extra drum rehearsals on Thursday nights with Doug Kleinhans wrangling that huge drumline into championship form.
S N A R E S: Steve Debusk, Ken McAlpin, Dave Nesbitt, Chris Florack, Louize Christensen;
T E N O R S: Pat Keenan, Chris McLaughlin, MaryAnn Lombardo, Paul Ianello, +Mike Principino;
B A S S D R U M S: Ray Erb, Paul Bonsignore, Fred Schreible (?);
C Y M B A L S: Judy Bonczyk, Kevin Dinchner (?);
T I M B A L E S: Mike Rotundo;
TRI TOMS (or was that QUADS?) Tom Walsh - (Trying to remember all this, hope I mentioned everyone!)
:::: :::: :::: :::: ::::
Tom Erb, Jimmy Clements and Mike Bianchi decided that we were going to heavily ?psyche out? the competition at the State Fair, and devised three routines code-named ?Psyche-Out I, II and III.? As practiced at the drum picnics, once the busses got to the State Fair parking lot, all the drums --which had been chrome-polished to a dazzling brilliance-- were lined up
perfectly uniformly; our newly taped blue and silver striped drum sticks were placed on our drums up at exact diagonals; blindingly bright cymbals were placed in unison; our drum cases were aligned with our shakos and plumes standing in perfect rows like trim top soldiers awaiting a precision drill. All this was designed to ?Psyche-Out? the competition as they marched past us heading out to the competition field. And it DID! Some of the smaller bands literally seemed to droop their shoulders and slink by, trying not to let this vision of percussion power get in their line of sight. But, the best was yet to come. At a pre-arranged whistle signal, as main competition (Hilton) was about to march by to compete, all drummers
scrambled into position, and commenced to play the most KICKass rockin? drum solo while Hilton band headed to the field. That drum solo still sticks in my mind, a testimony to the power of percussion! Many thanks to that drumline team for some of the best times of my life! Complete pandemonium on the field as it was announced that we won State--It
made all those hot summer days and nights drilling out on the field behind Kearney worthwhile- Mr Shahin, Mr. Korts, Ms. Britt, Mrs. Clements? the scaffolding out on the field; the bullhorn; drilling over and over; practicing drill routines until the June bugs buzzed out of the trees?
///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\
/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\
D R U M M A J O R S
Huge competition for drum major after the fantastic MaryAnn Keefe graduated; the year of the four rotating drum majors: Pat Keenan, Lauren Saurini, Chris McLaughlin, and Louize Christensen

<< I enjoyed being drum major so much that I have been the Drum Major for about the past 13 years of a fun local
"pseudo-marching band" here in Atlanta: the Seed and Feed Marching Abominable, best described as Mardi-Gras-Gone-Bad --MEETS-- John Phillip Sousa --MEETS-- Dr. Seuss!? See my band at: seedandseed.org (Look for the huge feathered headdress and my mace!) Still playing drums and having an absolute blast. >>

Be the Band!

///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\
I R E L A N D
Arriving by bus to a quaint Irish village where the narrow road, flanked by tall rock walls, funneled a flock of sheep waggling their little tails and their shepherd as our tour bus slowly trailed behind to the village center where ruddy-red-faced little school children waved hundreds of miniature American flags. (Still gives me Goosebumps!)

A very dejected band standing in front of the Hotel Royal the year the instruments and band uniforms ALMOST did not get there in time? My snare drum was one of the only drums that did arrive, and I remember Steve DeBusk and Chris Florack looking longingly at my drum as theirs had not arrived. I was considering giving one of them my drum to play, since they were seniors - their last band trip-- and I was a sophomore. but luckily a huge whooping cheer burst out as the gear trucks rolled up. Instruments and uniform cases were being flung as fast as possible out of the trucks, and within minutes the sidewalk looked like a huge musical yard sale. The band had to scramble down the street and run, as our starting position in the parade had almost passed by where we were unloading.
///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\
\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\//
P I T B A N D
A fully packed, darkened auditorium. The play was supposed to start with a huge timpani roll? The timpanist (name eliminated -- you know who you are!) decided to be overly-dramatic and jump from the auxiliary stage, mallets in
hand, to get a huge roll, only to have the mallet go straight through the head of the timpani?
///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\/
//\\\/\\\///\\\/\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\//
Waiting with bated breath for the "Trip List" to be posted on Mr. Shahin's door; "strobe light" action movies in the drum room; brutal (but fantastic) marathon drum practices on Thursday nights; practicing until the muscles in your arms bulged and your wrists felt like twisted pretzels; Doug Kleinhans (drum instructor) nonchalantly playing 7-stroke rolls with his left hand; JV trying to teach drumming; Jimmy Clements creating rotating drum contests; Inventory at Hunter?s (ugh!); drumline taking over the back of the bus; freezing in the stands during the football games -- so that you could almost not hold your sticks; summer gigs- white bucks literally melting into thepavement on hot parades?
///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\
\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\//
L O N D O N . and other trips
Going out in groups for dinner in London: Piccadilly Circus; marching inside the Castle at Rochester, Kent; Tower of London Hotel; playing for the Pope in the Vatican; Halftime at Croake Park; performing in St. Peter's Square; Sister _____ getting pinched on the be-hind by an Italian admirer (?and she told the story over and over to her great delight, I might add!)
///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\/
//\\\/\\\///\\\/\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\//
R O M E
The "water balloon incident" in Rome at the Hotel Continental where the "Madam" was outraged that the water would "sully" her girls corner, and they would not be able to get work because the corner was wet!
Playing for the waiters in the dining room of the Hotel Continental in Rome?
Mr. Shahin had said they wanted to hear us, and it was a volunteer performance. A huge band turned out and we nearly blew the sun-filled leaded glass windows out into the street with the over-the top tower-of-power sound. Their beaming smiles, dropped-in-awe jaws and thunderous applausefilled the soul. AND IT STILL DOES!
///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\
///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\///\\\/\\\//
Great memories that shine on still. Thank you ALL!
LOUIZE CHRISTENSEN, '75

loudesign@mindspring.com

1972


Ah, 1972. The smell of wet woolen uniforms on the bus after a rainy half-time show at Aquinas stadium. Early mornings in the band room, doing homework and busting chops. Spaghetti dinners in the cafeteria. We
thought that we were pretty cool playing Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4" in jazz band.
Seniors extended their stay through the summer, and the band won its 2nd NYS Marching Band championship (Remember the "Theme from the Godfather?")
And of course, the trip to Ireland and Rome, where we saw the Pope, and visited St. Peter's Basilica, the Coliseum, Spanish Steps, and Fountain of Trevi. Great times with friends, teachers and parents.
From Greg Smith & Jim Scarpulla


1972

The class of '72 was in the right place at the right time. Four overseas trips to three different countries, two state fair championships, plus everything else that the band did during those four years that we were there. For example, the 1971 spring concert featured the 1812 Overture, complete with REAL cannon shots in the finale. Scary loud, but cool! Hey, were we lucky, or what?


1972

Imagine the awe of being 14 years old and on your own in a foreign country for an afternoon. Especially one where drinking for all ages is legal, and the most often heard phrase on St. Patrick's Day was, "Over the top, Yank". I recall a toothless old woman drinking whiskey from a beer mug at one bar!!
Karen Warenko and I spent some of our time in London touring the pastry shops, and from the picture of me on the site, it sure shows! Those uniforms sure were not flattering to the female figure.
And going to Rome as a senior was one of the most impressive experiences of my life. That and visiting Pompeii. And I can't forget the hooker on the corner by the hotel getting angry at MaryJo Frumusa's mom [who spoke great Italian] because she thought Mrs. Frumusa was a "madam" placing her "girls" [meaning us]! This same poor soul had to become irate with the hotel manager when certain boys dropped water balloons on her spot!
The memories are endless, thanks for having a place to share!
Anne Stevens Welsh '72

 

Saw the POPE!!!! Rome!


1973

On a 25-day vacation in Summer 2000, my husband, three children, and I toured England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.  One of our stops was in Waterford, Ireland.  I did not recall our visit to Waterford on any of the band trips, and I was interested in stopping there for part of our trip.
 
At the end of our tour of the Waterford Crystal factory, we spoke to our tour guide, Nora.  A petite woman with Irish complexion and Irish lilt to her voice, she asked us if we had ever visited Ireland before.  I responded, "Yes, many years ago.  I traveled to Ireland with my high school band."
 
She immediately perked up and asked, "Not the Bishop Kearney Marching Band?"
 
My mouth dropped open, and my face turned red.  "Well, yes," I stammered, "I was in the Bishop Kearney Band.  How do you know about the Bishop Kearney Band?"
 
"Well," she replied, "everyone here knows about the Bishop Kearney Marching Band.  Even my children know of the Bishop Kearney Marching Band."
 
"But, how do you remember the band?  Did you see the St. Patrick's Parade in Dublin?"
 
"Oh," she said, "we watched you on the telly.....especially the men, they were so interested in the short skirts on the baton twirlers.  I can't wait to tell my father that I met a member of the Bishop Kearney Marching Band."
 
***************
 
Mr. Shahin, I am sharing this story to impress on you the effect that your efforts had and continue to have on the people who enjoyed our music and experienced our presence in their homeland.  I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this stellar community of individuals who with your leadership and motivation became the internationally-acclaimed "Bishop Kearney Marching Kings."  The chance conversation with the tour guide opened the eyes of my family to how remarkable the Marching Kings truly were.  Be assured that 'band memories' aren't just memories of band members, color guard, and twirlers, they are memories of those we touched with our music.
 
Thank you for everything.
 
Diane (Healy) MacEwan, clarinet
Class of 1973


I ran across a picture of Mary Anne Keefe and myself in the lobby of our hotel in Dublin. This was in our senior year, 1973. We were both in the process of pinning clumps of shamrocks on our jacket lapels. Haphazardly, I turned the album page, not giving it a second thought. Three pages later, there was a picture of the Bishop Carroll HS Marching Band from Washington D.C. My mom commented with great admiration about them, how they were going to get through the reviewing stand and hand us back their instruments so we could play through the judging. Then it all came back to me.
We had arrived safe and sound in Dublin, but our instruments and uniforms had never been unloaded from the underbelly of our sopwith camel. They’d been flown back to Toronto. We were told to show up in our lobbies the following morning – St. Patrick’s Day – in our nicest street clothes.
There, we pinned on our shamrock corsages, and boarded the busses for the start of the parade. We were going to put our best foot forward, and march the parade sans uniformity and fanfare. But there was still hope. It does, after all, spring eternal.
Our parents and friends who came with us were all taken to the reviewing stand, not knowing any progress, just hoping, from their adult perspectives, that we would look proud and sound great.
It was so hard to believe that the sirens we were hearing were from the police escort of a truck carrying our equipment. There was almost mayhem as the group leaders (captains, co-captains etc.) called out names of garment bag owners. We took over any bathroom, conference room, anything we could find, to change for the parade.
Never had we looked like such a rumpled group, without our pre-event ironings. Never had our nerves been so on edge. I’d been in the competition guard for four years, and never had I seen such a hurried and cooperative dressing room. Never, was there such a sigh of relief as we kicked-off ( just about on time.)
Now that I’m a parent, I can only imagine how ours must have felt as they saw our banners in the distance and heard that distinctive street beat.
What a time!

Joyce Magin
1973


Hi, Here’s one of my favorite stories:
The band was invited to perform at Kilkenney Castle with dignitaries in attendance such as the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, John Moore.
 After a rousing performance, the band lined up all their instruments on the grounds & went inside for a bit a tea & biscuits.
 Meanwhile, outside I challenged Beth O’Neill to a race.  The grounds were fabulous with an inspiring pastoral vista with white tailed deer grazing off in the distance.  There were verdant rolling hills as far as the eye could see.  Truly, 40 shades of green.
 We chose a finish line at the peak of a slightly rolling hill off in the distance and we were off!  We were so engrossed in the competition that when we reached our destination we didn’t notice that the hill ended at an approximate 7 foot sheer drop off.  Arriving a nano second ahead of Beth, I teetered on the brink to see her teeter and fall off right next to me!  She landed on a huge bramble bush below along the 7’ high stone wall.  This was no ordinary wall for it wound around the estate to left & right all the way to the next County!
I had to run back to the Castle & enlist the help of a good pair of strong arms to help me drag poor Beth up the face of the wall.  I couldn’t stop laughing, and the visual still brings a smile to me this day.   Time and distance hasn’t changed the friendship Beth & I still share today.
Lisa Kilburne Huson  (73)  (forced to leave Kearney after my Sophomore year due to anti war activities)


(Lesson One, Don't Trust Anyone Selling Stuff From Their Overcoat)
Mark D'Aurienzo and I are walking around Rome. We go into the Rome train station. A guy walks up and flashes the inside of his overcoat... "Hey wanna buy a watch?" Mark stops to talk to the guy and decides to buy a watch. The guy offers a gold watch with diamond jewels for "Only" $75.

Mark starts negotiating with the guy. I said "Mark you can't buy one of these watches, you don't know what you're buying." After some discussion Mark agrees with me that we really can't trust this guy. Well, to make a long story short, we both walked away with watches. I think mine cost about $20. It worked exactly 10 days. I think Marks worked about a month. Why is it I never take my own advice?
Ray Erb 1975

 


1974

(No Love from Ray)
One day I was in the band room which was just about empty, practicing my drum strokes. Ray Shahin was across the band
room trying to have a conversation with someone.
Shahin:
"Hey Erb, stop making so much noise with those drum sticks."
Me: (respectfully shouting back)
"But Ray, you told me I need to practice."
Shahin: (shouting a little louder):
"Then practice on your leg, its quietter."
Me: (with a little grin)
"But Ray, if I do that it could damage my leg muscles, stunt my growth, maybe even cause cancer"
Shahin:
"Great, then play on your head!"
No matter how we tried to play Ray, he always had one better.
Ray Erb 1975



1975



Mello Memories
Playing the mellophone for four years and going overseas all four years...I realized how lucky I was back then.
The summer before Freshman year, I asked Mr. Shahin what instrument he need. French horn....OK, sure, I can do that.
Little did I know it was about the most difficult (and tempermental) instrument around. Being a pianist, playing something with your mouth seemed unappealing. I had just gotten my braces off, thankfully, when I started that summer at age 13.
I actually started playing on glockenspiel or bells first--while I was still learning the horn. I'll never forget that warm summer evening in '71 and attempting to play bells at practice for the first time. Patty Gasbarre was so patient explaining the ropes to me. As we played "Love Story" I was drunk on the fabulous sound and the beat of the drumline. I played bells but only for a short time-I looked like a hunchback with those bells around my neck. I'll never forget getting dressed in uniform for my first event and having a friend (Agnes Hickey) ask why I had positioned the sash so that it looked like some sort of tail! Whoops.
It was after my freshman year that we won State in '72--I loved reading everyone's memories of that day--especially Louize's. And now, as I search high and low to find a mellophone for the reunion (you can't rent them, and you can try to borrow one--not easy)--I realized what a rare gem that instrument was--today, they have new-fangled ones that are much more compact. We were some of the first to march with mellos in the early 70s. Ray Shahin was a genius and a pioneer when he ordered those 4 mellos (easier to march with than a French horn). We had silver mellos and a great sound with the ever-sharp Alan Chard, and Dan Phillips, Lori Calcago and others. The Godfather duet...and who can believe that we really played that tune for the Pope! Princess Grace and the Royal Family peering down from their window...we are all lucky to have such great memories and a dedicated band director and moderators. Whenever I hear a marching band and feel the beat of the drums, I get that feeling all over again....and the memories return...
--Laura (Morabito) Brandt, Class of '75

(The Streaking Incident)
By 1975, Streaking had reached a frenzy in US sporting events and on TV.
On one trip we were in London and I was rooming with Fred Scheible (or Paul Bonsignore). I heard Paul in the room so I come out of the shower with a towell rapped around me to say Hi to Paul. Big Mistake. Paul and Fred grabbed me,
pushed me out into the hallway and took the towell away from me - all in about 2 seconds. So I find myself standing in the hall of the hotel, totally naked! No where to go. Look down the hallway - there's absolutely no cover. Knock on someone's door to get a towell? Nope, can't do that. Shout for help? Nope, can't do that. I started to walk down the hall to look for cover, and it started. Paul and Fred open the door - laughing hysterically, and start shouting "Hey Ray, put some clothes on" trying to get people to open their doors. A few doors opened and people peeked out to see what was going on. I was probably in the hall for about 2 minutes but it seemed like an hour. And eventually the elevator door goes Ding! Its the cleaning lady, and she freezes as she sees me standing naked down the hall. (The term shrinkage wasn't well understood back then) Anyways, Do Paul and Fred let me back in the room? NO! For them its only gotten better. But fortunately for me the cleaning lady got back on the elevator so fast that she left the cleaning cart on our floor and I was able to grab a towell. Since the thrill was gone, they let me back in the room. Later at breakfast we heard the hotel staff talking about all the American Streakers that were running around on the 5th floor.
-Ray Erb 1975


1975

I remember being in junior high and seeing the Kearney band at parades. They would take over the street with their colorful presence and sound. I loved watching the girls in silver and decided that I had to be one of
them.
As a freshman, I would listen to the band perform the Letterman's "Going Out of My Head", "Mc Arthur Park" and "The Godfather Theme". I was not able to join them until the end of my freshman year. I guess there were a lot of girls going out for twirling that year. We had about 10 cuts that lasted through spring. It was very nerve-racking but probably made making the squad that much more special. I remember Ro Napoli having all the new twirlers over to her house that summer to practice marching 8 to 5 in her backyard. The older twirlers would mark off the yard with stakes and string. We could also practice tossing our batons without fear of breaking things and marking up our ceilings at home.
I remember singing at the top of our lungs on our way to football games. Donna Bonsignore would lead us in a fun and silly song. I believe the chorus went "Shoo-bop-di-doobie-doobie-doo". I especially liked the color guard's rendition of "California Dream'in". And how about those orange ribbons that we attached to weighted curlers? I remember releasing them at a McQuaid game and hitting a referee at the end of "A Nation Once Again". Does anyone remember "argyles" and how about the "Shaft" arrangement? Mr. Shahin and Mr. Korts and another gentleman that helped us with our formations were brilliant!
My greatest regret is not permitting my generous parents to buy the $100 worth of split club tickets that would have allowed me to travel to Europe (Rome, Niece and Monaco) my Junior year. I didn't want them to spend the money (seemed outrageous to me at the time) since I knew that as a twirler I would get to go my senior year. It wasn't easy watching my younger sister pack her trusty trombone and return with wonderful stories about seeing the Pope and Princess Grace. Alas, my senior year was the first year that the band did not travel abroad. We spent an exciting 3 days in Chicago over St. Patty's Day. But, we did win "Best Band" in the parade.
Kathy Finnegan ('76)



1976

From Carol Ann Warth, Drum Majorette, 1976 (Clarinet player)
Lining the band up in the cold weather by the dyed green river in Chicago for the St. Patrick's Day Parade in 1976, playing for Mayor Daley in the reviewing stand
Playing for Prince Ranier and Princess Grace on the Palace grounds in Monaco, 1975
Marching in the St. Patrick's Day parade in Ireland in 1974 and having the rain clouds open up right before we got to the reviewing stand. We stood in the rain and played our entire set with yellow dripping down our faces from the wet plumes, water jumping off the tops of the drums and our fingers slipping off the keys of the instruments. I never heard a crowd cheer louder for us!
Sold out audiences and an extra weekend of command performances for "Jesus Christ Superstar" musical in 1976
Being called "Warth" instead of Carol by Ray Shahin!


1976

Performing on the ice rink when the new "Lincoln Tower" opened in downtown Rochester,
Learning how to march in "argyle" formation on the football field, singing "California Dreamin' and Shoo-Bop-Di-Doobi-Doobi-Do" on the busses before football shows, cool twirling routine to "Shaft", Performing when the "Freedom Train" came through town, twirlers tie orange streamers to weighted hair curlers and toss them into the air as "A Nation
Once Again" transitions to "Danny Boy", Princess Grace listens to our rendition of "True Love" in Monaco, the stage
band jazzes things up with "Big Dipper", wondering who will get to perform the coveted trumpet piece during "Somewhere"?, Rotating drum majorettes with each football game, winning "best band" in the St. Patty's day parade in Chicago.
Kathy Finnegan, twirler, '76


1973-1977

I was in the band 1973-77.

Memories...that "argyle" we did on the field in Fall 75 definitely sticks in my head. It was so difficult to execute, and depended on the one key person starting it on each side--luckily not me!

fund raising--the J.B. Hunter inventory. How about JB Hunter itself?

Absolutely loved the music we would do at the Christmas concert, wish we had recorded some: Leroy Anderson's Christmas Festival, Amahl, Russian Christmas Music, etc...(maybe was recorded other years?)

An incredible drumline ( I didn't play drums), with a street beat that is the best 4 measures of 4/4 percussion ever heard.

How about--needing your instrument after school, and going down to find the band room LOCKED!

Trip meetings, with "white papers" (am I remembering this correctly?) for anonymous written feedback.

LUNCH BAND!!!!

"The Band Room"--social hangout when not being used for rehearsals. A great place for people with ADD (which we had never heard of back then).
There was always an excuse to be constantly in motion: Drummers and non-drummers constantly beating drumsticks on the tables, storage racks, anywhere!
Band members practicing Color Guard technique with rifles.

During my years there the band grew so big that , another band room and another band director were added! What was that guy's name...can't remember.

Mr. Shahin able to play everyone's part on his trumpet no matter what key or register.

Trip to Italy and Monaco in 1975 was my first ride on a plane ever. We left in the evening. When daylight appeared, we looked out the windows and there were the Alps! On the ground, we traveled on tour busses with
white headrests. Resulting in the "Diaper Wars" for which many of us got punished! What a thrill to play for the Pope in Rome, and Princess Grace and the Royal Family in Monaco.

Ann Garczynski Altoonian '77


1973-77
I only wish I had enough paper to write about all the memories I have and all the great people I shared them with.  From the moment I stepped out onto the field my first practise in sept, I was hooked.  But if I had to choose just one, it would have to be the summer before my junior year (76) Dan Burke and myself went to Shahin and told him we had been practicing Somewhere, so he said "ok lets hear it".  Well the band sounded awesome and he let us put it back in the lineup for the fall show.  We went to Chicago that year and won first place.  I often get the albums out, my girls are very much into drum corp and music and enjoy listening to them.  They especially like all the hair we had....Thanks for "all " the memories
Paul Piccini
Band President 77


1976-77

When I came to Kearney, I had only been playing saxaphone for 2 years. I wasn't that good, but could read and memorize music well so I got in to band and even went on the trip to Chicago. I'm sure in the back of Ray's mind was, " I've got uses for this girl." As it turned out, my sister and Rick Boden were trombonists and were leaving after my freshman year. Shahin took me off the sax and said, "You can play trombone for me. You can be in the front line." I had just gotten braces but how could I say "No." My lips and gums killed me that year. (1976-77)
Clare Borton Schreiber (1979)


1978 - NYC
The band travelled to NYC and stayed just off Times Square. What were they thinking?!?!?! The hotel was a complete flea trap. The room I stayed in had a bullet hole in the mirror and more holes in the hallway
window. One room had a previous tenants "rates" posted on the wall. The adults made us promise not to go back to the hotel during our free time in the city, it was too dangerous.
-robbog@mac.com


1978

My freshman year @ BK, I asked Mr Shahin to sign my yearbook.  He said he only signed senior's yearbooks.  So, I waited!  My senior year I gave him my yearbook to sign and he said he didn't sign yearbooks!  I told it was too bad, I waited 3 years, he was signing. He looked at me for a moment and said, "Well, since you waited all this time, I'll sign yours!" 
 
Now, I'm not sure that I was actually the only senior that year to get my yearbook signed, but I was a  gawky 17 yr old and it made me feel special.
 
Gemma Divine '78


1978 The MONSTER!!!

This is Jim Moynahan pushing the amplifier. I inherited this most magical marching device from him, and I'm sure that's where I picked up whatever
frisbee skills that I have. There is definitely something about pushing a metal handled powertool in the rain that leaves its mark. Thanks to Joe
Micca who was always there for me to keep the monster happy and working. I always wanted to play the drums, but this is as close to the drumline as I ever got.

Tim Prinzing




1979 - Ireland
The first night in Ireland we played on a national TV show and were coming back to the hotel when disaster happened to me. I was raining out and I was going up a carpeted set of steps in my marching bucks
when my foot slipped and I fell on top of my Alto Sax. I bent the control rods for the lower half of the horn. I couldn't play anything but high notes the rest of the trip. I still marched in two of the three parades (somebody forgot their plume in one and I gave mine up and helped lug the bass amp around) and played a borrowed alto for the jazz concert. I played the best solo of my Kearney career on that
borrowed sax.
The other memory of that trip was the fact that in Dublin we shared a hotel with an all-girl band from Texas. With our band being about 2 to 1 girls to boys (when you counted the color guard and twirlers) and another whole band being girls, we were "outnumbered" about 4 to 1 in the hotel. It was an adolescent boy's dream come true!!! I vividly remember trying to get the Texans to explain the word "y'all" while we
were hanging out in the hotel hallway
-robbog@mac.com


 


1979

I met my wife Marianna in 79 on the Ireland trip. She played
bugle with the Colleens, an all-girl drum and bugle corp from Bishop Byrne
Catholic High School in Port Arthur, Texas. Some friends of hers were
mistakenly assigned to the same hotel room as my roommate (Cliff Milligan)
and I. We exchanged the ocassional note and call, and got re-acquainted
when I moved to Dallas in '86. We were married in San Antonio in '95.
Vince Parks
(band president)



The Band was the "center of my universe" my freshman and sophomore years at Kearney!  I can still remember how excited I was to find out I had actually made it and was going to march with the Bishop Kearney Marching Kings!!!   I don't think I could condense the memories into something less than a book!


The Band Room was where we all basically "lived", when we weren't in class.  I remember the drum line, especially Jim Totah, Dave and Chuck.
The trumpets, especially John, Paul, and Dan, (who all wanted me to "dump Gary" Melville!)  Ann Garzinski and her marching electric bass!
The trips to Chicago and NYC.  Being in Pit Band and Jazz Band.
Watching the musicals ("Superstar"!) through all rehearsals and all performances and never becoming sick of any of the music. 
And of course, having the greatest band director in the world!  I still regard Ray as being the greatest and I have the best memories of his directing us with one hand while playing his trumpet with the
other!

Jan (Weisshaar ) Triplett
class of '79


Class of 1979 1/2

I picked up a trumpet for the first time in the summer of 1975. I remember
sitting in my bedroom trying to duplicate the 3rd trumpet parts from a
cassette tape made by Mr. Shahin. My oldest friend, Ken DeLafranier who I
hadn't seen in years, showed up that summer at Kearney for band practice.
Well, after a lot of practice, I was told I could march in the St. Patrick's
day parade in NYC. I roomed with Ken and two other guys who I can't recall.
The TV set in the room was an old black and white job that didn't work.
Somehow, it got dropped out of the 5th floor window into an alley. I also
remember Ken and I getting onto an elevator and some drunken guy got on with
us and started to threaten ken with an imaginary sword. We were terrified
but laughing so hard I almost wet myself. I spent every second I could in
the band room and couldn't wait for lunch band practice. In my junior year,
Kearney had just come out with computerized schedules. My schedule was
missing American history so I figured I would play dumb and not say
anything. During the time I was supposed to be in American History, I went
to the band room, hung out, and attended a second lunch band practice. I'm
certain Mr. Shahin wondered why I had two lunches. That year, we were going
to Ireland. Two weeks before we were to leave I was summoned to the
Principals office and got "busted" for skipping American History. To my
horror, I was expelled from school that day. My Father begged them to
reconsider but they wouldn't. I remember going to the airport to say
goodbye to my friends. It was indescribably painful to watch everyone leave
so excitedly. I ended up going to Eastridge and graduated in the summer of
my junior year because I somehow had enough credits. I learned a very
valuable lesson from getting expelled from Kearney.

Steve Tausch


1979

Here are some of my favorite memories of being part of the musical program at Kearney '76-> '79
Our marching BAND brought Mr. Shahin's musical arrangements to life in a spectacular way. Our concert band performances were always polished. Our jazz band blew people away.
Our COLOR GUARD was sharp, especially at the Winter Color Guard Competitions. Every performance was perfection.
Our TWIRLERS routines were beautiful. They were so graceful and their smiles brought personality to our performances.
Our DRUMLINE was phenominal and amazing to watch. Their drum solo Mannix was absolutely incredible.
Our DRUM MAJOR for three years, Kim Jackson, was "The Queen of the Marching Kings" according to a newspaper in Ireland. She was tall, beautiful, brilliant and tied for 1st Place in the Drum Major category in an
international competition. She simply took your breath away.


1980


1981

Dave Rinehart, Bill Graff and

Dave Haller at Highland park

Click on the picture to see a larger image


1982

The event that you folks are organizing is fantastic. Ray is a great leader and visionary.  As a young photographer, always running around with a camera, Ray was always willing and able to support any creative efforts.  From the band to the many musicals he always had something new and innovative. 
 
 
 
Jim Garrick
Class of 82’
Maxability LLC
9160 Highway 64, Suite 12
Lakeland, TN 38002
(901) 351-9700
(901) 213-4053 FAX
Maxability@Bellsouth.net


1983