by Maria on October 28th, 2018

Today Honor Flight Rochester celebrated Mission 62. Sixty Vietnam Veterans were on board: 13 Marines, 30 Army, 7 Navy and 10 Air Force. As they walked through the airport, they were greeted with cheers and applause and signs that read Welcome Home and Thank You.

The traffic lanes leading to the terminal are under construction, so only one lane is open. The construction was covered with a curved canopy reminiscent of the Sidney (Australia) Opera House.

Even though we didn't have to play until 12:30 pm, the Honor Flight committee suggested that we arrive at 11:15 am to avoid congestion, and they were right. Some Heroes had to come a little later because of church services, and they were directed to use the parking garage.

It's always a pleasure to play at the airport. The live acoustics amplify and carry the sound throughout the building.

After we played Sweet Caroline, a gentleman from the audience wanted an encore. We promised him we'd come back to it later, which we did, That song is tough on the trumpets because most of their part is above the staff. There were no trombones, but Anya competently covered the part on the baritone.

For color guard, we had Bob K.. For woodwinds, we had Irene and Tara on piccolo, Jodi on clarinet, Margaret and Mike H. on alto sax, and Jack and Maria on tenor sax. For brass, we had Matt H., Bob, Tom J. and Kayla on trumpet, Anya on baritone and Josh on sousaphone. For percussion, we had Scott M. on snare drum, Andy on bass drum and Kristen on cymbals.

Our next event is The Santa Claus Parade in Toronto on November 18.

by Maria on September 29th, 2018

Many years ago, Kelley's Heroes marched many times in the Palmyra Canal Town Days Parade. For the past several years, we marched in the Livonia Autumn in the Village Parade, which was the same weekend. Livonia still has its festival, but it no longer has a parade, so this year we went back to Palmyra and had a great time.

This was a long drive for our members who live on the west side of Rochester. Karen drove about an hour from Batavia; Jodi and Zach drove over an hour from Albion. It's a good thing Zach made the trip. He was the only trombone, and he did very well on the trombone solos.

The parade started at 4:00 pm. At about 3:20 pm, we got a call from the Jones family saying that they were just leaving Henrietta, where they had been watching their nephew play hockey. Tom had no idea how to get to Palmyra, so Maria gave him directions. It caused some concern that the Jones family might be late because they constituted one-fourth of the band for this parade, Luckily, they arrived a few minutes before we stepped off.

Kristen plays cymbals, and she knows where all the crashes are. For this parade, she carried the banner and her son, TJ, played cymbals. To cue TJ, she would point one hand up in the air, and it looked like she was disco dancing.

Our banner has a wood pole in the bottom to add weight and hold it down. Since Kristen was carrying the banner by herself, Steve took that pole out to make it lighter. Unfortunately, as he slid the pole out, a huge splinter lodged in his hand. It took quite a while for him to dig that out.

For woodwinds, we had Margaret on piccolo, Karen R. and Jodi on clarinet, Steve on alto sax and Maria on tenor sax. For brass, we had five trumpets: Doug, Matt H., Kayla, Tom J. and Bob. There was also Zach on trombone and Josh on tuba. For percussion, we had Scott M. on snare drum, Andy on bass drum and TJ on cymbals.

Our next event is Rochester Honor Flight on September 30. See you there!

by Maria on August 5th, 2018

For many years, we have marched in the Spencerport FD Parade with the Clifton Fire Department, so it just seems right that now we can say that we have marched in the Clifton FD Parade with the Spencerport Fire Department.

As we were waiting for the parade to start, we could hear the distant rumble of thunder. There were isolated thunder showers in the area, but they went around us. Later in the beer tent, there were a few sprinkles. Finally, just as the combined bands were playing Stars and Stripes as the closing song, the sprinkles increased to steady rain. Most of us headed for our cars to put away our instruments. The rain was brief, and some people returned to the carnival for food and games.

We acknowledged our 2018 Tim Kelley Heroes Scholarship winner, Sarah. Sarah and her mom, Sue, have played several parades with us; Sarah's younger sister, Emma, has also marched with our color guard. However, this was Sarah's first parade since she received the scholarship. Sarah plans to attend Finger Lakes Community College, then transfer to SUNY Fredonia to major in music education.

The banner was carried by Steve and Margaret's daughters, Angelina and Maddie, accompanied by their babysitter, Emily. In the color guard, Bob K. carried the American flag and his and Tara's son, Peyton, carried the rifle.

For woodwinds, we had Irene, Tracey and Tara on piccolo, Sarah on flute, Kim on clarinet, Margaret and Steve on alto saxophone and Maria on tenor saxophone. For brass, we had Doug and Mike B. on trumpet, Art and Sue on trombone and Don on tuba. For percussion, we had Scott M. on snare drum, Andy on bass drum and Nancy on cymbals.

Update: We found out that we won 1st  place for Best Appearing Unique Musical Unit in the Hamlin FD Parade. We're unique, all right!

Update: For this parade, we won a Special Judges Award.

The Fire Department Parade schedule has come to an end, but there are still a few events on our calendar for this year. Our next event is the Palmyra Canaltown Days Parade on September 15. See you there!

by Maria on July 28th, 2018

It was another beautiful night: sunny, less humid, and not too hot. We marched with our friends in the Clifton Fire Department.

Doug went retro; he was wearing the former uniform shirt with the diagonal color blocks.

It was nice to see a few people who haven't been able to march much this year: Art on trombone and Tyler on trumpet. Also, Keenan marched the parade with the Hilton Generations Band, but he came over and played a couple of tunes with us in the beer tent. We haven't seen him since the Lilac Parade.

In the beer tent, we played a few of our favorite songs. Then we joined forces with The Mark Time Marchers for a few more. For our closer, we played Armed Forces Salute and some members of the Pittsford FD Band even joined in.

For woodwinds, we had Margaret on piccolo, Kim and Allie on clarinet, Steve on alto sax and Maria on tenor sax. For brass, we had Doug and Tyler on trumpet, Art on trombone and Don on helicon. For percussion, we had Scott M. on snare drum, Andy on bass drum and Theresa on bells.

Update: We won 1st Place in the Non-Fire Department Band category.

Our next event is the Clifton Fire Department Parade. See you there!

by Maria on July 27th, 2018

One of our flute players has a personal connection to the Dewey/Stone Family Fun Night. Tracey is a member of one of the churches in this neighborhood. This year, all three of Tracey's boys - Zach, Jake and Josh - participated in this event.

Our performance started with a very short parade marching once around the parking lot. Jake and Josh carried a kid-sized American flag while they led the band on a winding grapevine through the crowd. Zach carried Scott M.'s trombone so that Scott would be able to play it later.

Then we stood and played a few songs while neighborhood families enjoyed the food, crafts, activities and demonstrations by community partners. We were planning to play until about 8 pm, but there was other entertainment scheduled for 7:30 pm, so we were done early.

We had Irene and Tracey on flute, Kim and Allie on clarinet, Jack on tenor sax, Mike B. on trumpet, Scott M. doing double duty on trombone and snare drum, Josh on sousaphone, and Theresa on bells. Even though we were small in numbers, we got awesome compliments.

Our next event is the Rush Fire Department Parade.  See you there!

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