While the Quaker Valley School District will be 60 years old in the 2016-2017 school year, the Quaker Valley High School Marching Band will be celebrating its 60th season in 2015-2016. We have big plans in the works for that milestone year (we’re not letting any secrets out yet!) and we want to have alumni involved. There’s just one (big) problem–save for the past 5 or 6 years, we don’t know who those alumni are. This isn’t surprising–in programs where there have only been a handful of directors over a long period of time, it is relatively easy for one consistent director to maintain one consistent database of alumni contacts. At QV, the turnover in the director’s position has been high and unfortunately, most alumni contacts have been lost in the massive shuffle of directorship. Upward of 1,000 band alumni are out there somewhere. Let’s make them reappear…
The QVHS Marching Band has a long and diverse legacy that current students deserve to know and become a part of. There is no better way to do that than to have an organization of band alumni who are passionate about passing on this history. If you are an alum from the late ’80’s through the mid-2000’s, to you, “band” may mean the excitement of drum corps, exhibition shows, and PIMBA competition. If you are an alum from before the mid-1980’s, you likely have amazing memories of what it meant to be in the “Swingin’ Quakers” and work with the legendary Mr. I. But today’s band wants to know and needs to know about *all* of these different aspects of what Quaker Valley High School Band means to the members of our community.
Over the years, the program has fallen out of touch with its alumni and it’s time that changes. For the benefit of the current students and for the benefit of preserving the history and legacy of the program for the entire school and community, we are seeking to create an active alumni association for alumni of the Quaker Valley High School Marching Band–not just for the 60th season celebration, but indefinitely.
The first step in all of this is simply finding out who the alumni are. Not everyone is on Facebook, but many people are and it is a quick and efficient way for us to begin to get back in touch with band alumni. So please, add yourself, add your band friends and spread the word about our new alumni Facebook group, which can be found here. If you use Twitter, follow us @QVHSMusic and encourage others to do the same. And continue to check out the band website at www.qvsdmusic.com, where you can read about the band’s complete history (as best as I’ve been able to compile through research–insights are certainly welcome!), check out our performance calendar, and more.
Finally, the good-ol’ “grapevine” has its advantages and disadvantages. Using the grapevine for things like spreading the word about an effort to reconnect with alumni, or advocating to parents, students and community members about why they should support and/or participate in the program, is great. Relying on the grapevine for reliable information about the band program is not. As the director, I’m the most reliable source of information about the program–so if you have questions, e-mail me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call my office at 412-749-6009.
PS–If you are interested in helping us get the Quaker Valley High School Marching Band Alumni Association off the ground, please contact me ASAP. We want to have alumni involved in a big way in 2015, and 2015 is not really that far away….we have a lot of ground to cover and could use your help.
PPS–We have been working toward an alumni association for String Orchestra as well. We are not as far along on that project just yet, but we are working on it and will give you updates when we are ready to launch that group also.