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News Archives 2005

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 Photos .

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Boom! Boom! Boom! Band Needs a New Bass Drum

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!

Bass Drum
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!

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New Lifetime Membership

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.

Les Blodgett
Les Blodgett

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 this day.

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.

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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.

Nonprofit Award
Band Members Accept Vermont
Centennial Nonprofit Award

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 of State.

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.

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