This News Archive page contains St. Johnsbury Band news stories from 2005.
St. Johnsbury Band Celebrates 175th Anniversary
The St. Johnsbury Band celebrates its 175th anniversary in 2005. The Band, founded in 1830,
is the third oldest community band in the nation. It has been in continuous operation since
it was founded.
Our first special concert event of this anniversary year will be our performance at Vermont
History Expo 2005. The Vermont History Expo 2005 is being held at the Tunbridge World's Fair
Grounds in Tunbridge, Vermont. We are scheduled to play at 12:00pm.
Another highlight of this years celebration will be the Band's participation in the first Lake
George Band Festival on Saturday, July 23rd in Lake George, NY. The festival will be held in the
Shepard Park Amphitheatre overlooking the lake.
The festival features nine bands from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and
Vermont starting at noon. The St. Johnsbury Band plays at 5:00pm. There will be a combined
band performance at 3:00pm with members from all of the participating bands. The rain location
is Lake George High School.
Lake George Band Festival photos can be seen by clicking
Boom!...Boom!...Boom! That is the sound every community band loves to hear - the steady beat of
the bass drum. That beat is one of the things that really holds a band together, keeps the music
sharp and crisp, and is absolutely necessary for a band to shine.
The St. Johnsbury Band has been in desperate need of a new bass drum. Our old drum is in such sad
shape we can no longer patch it up to produce a decent sound. It looks like we've been using it
since 1830, when the Band came into existence.
Bass drums are expensive but it is an investment that can last for 50 years, if the instrument is
cared for properly. The Band asked for help from the community and the response was tremendous! We
received donations totaling $720 and now have our new bass drum!
The Band purchased a 14x28" Pearl concert bass drum. The bass drum is made of mahogany, giving it
a deeper, resonating tone. It has Fiberskin heads used for concert and symphonic bass drums, giving
it warmer tonal qualities similar to calfskin, instead of the plastic heads used on marching drums.
Fiberskin is also less susceptible to temperature and humidity avoiding a dead "thud" sound in very
humid weather. We also plan to use a traditional muffling strip instead of a foam ring to achieve a
more authentic sound and appearance.
The Band puchased two new mallets to use with the new bass drum. One mallet is a general purpose
mallet. The second mallet is a special "roller" mallet used for bass drum rolls.
The Band wishes to thank the following for their generous donations to our bass drum fund: David
Eliassen, Wayne Fearon, Dave Hare, Anne Jenks in memory of Charles R. Jenks, Scott Labun, Mildred
Lewis, Jim McGregor, Maybell Peck, Dave Rau, Marion Reed in memory of James Lumbra, Richard Reed,
Kathleen Scott, Jeanette Wheelock, and Ella Ziter. The Band also wishes to thank these groups for
their donations: the Green Mountain Grange #1 and the Patenaude Trust Fund.
The Band invites you to come out, hear our new bass drum, and enjoy all our concerts this season!
The St. Johnsbury Band honored Les Blodgett, of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, as the band's newest
Lifetime member at its annual meeting October 14, 2005. Lifetime membership is given only to
band members who have given enduring time and made significant efforts to advance the goals
of the St. Johnsbury Band.
Blodgett joined the Band when he was in 8th grade and continued to play through the end of high
school. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1969 through 1973 and was a naval musician during that
time. In 1974, he returned to St. Johnsbury, rejoined the Band, and has played continuously to
Blodgett previously served as band manager for two years. He has played "Taps" at many Memorial
Day and Veteran's Day ceremonies around the St. Johnsbury area. He is also a member of the Maple
Leaf Seven Dixieland Jazz Band and Big Band 2005.
Complete lists of the St. Johnsbury Band member awards is available on the Members page.
St. Johnsbury Band receives Vermont Centennial nonprofit Award
The St. Johnsbury Band has been selected as a winner in the 2004 Vermont Centennial Nonprofit
Awards Program. The Band was one of 26 organizations so honored this year out of the 60 nonprofits
that applied to the program. The Band was the fourth oldest nonprofit recognized this year. Founded
in 1830, the Band is the third oldest community band in the nation.
Pictured in the photo are (left to right): Brian Byrnes, President of The Vermont Community
Foundation; Marie-Anne Hemond, Manager of St. Johnsbury Band; Gary Aubin, Director of St. Johnsbury
Band; David Askren, Treasurer, St. Johnsbury Band; Deborah L. Markowitz, Vermont Secretary
The Vermont Centennial Nonprofit Awards Program is a joint project of the Vermont Office of the
Secretary of State and the Vermont Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations (VANPO). The awards were
presented by Vermont Secretary of State Deborah L. Markowitz at VANPO's annual conference at the
Stoweflake in Stowe on October 28, 2004.
The Vermont Centennial Nonprofit Awards program honors Vermont's oldest nonprofits. Any nonprofit
that has been in continuous operation for 100 years or more is eligible to participate in the
program. The Office of the Secretary of State believes it is important to recognize the many
contributions made to the State of Vermont by these nonprofit organizations. It takes a tremendous
amount of support and dedication to keep a nonprofit active for 100 years or more. It is the hope
that this program will deepen the understanding of how Vermont's nonprofits have enhanced community
life in Vermont during the last hundred years.
The 2005 awards will be honoring the 20 oldest nonprofits and those in their centennial year.