by Maria on July 6th, 2017

This year, the Chil-E Festival seemed to be cursed right from the beginning. One of the festival organizers mentioned that fewer groups had signed up to participate, so the starting time of the parade was delayed to 5:15 pm.

For Kelley's Heroes, more band members had vacation plans and Fourth of July social events than usual. At one point, it looked like only eight people were going to march in the parade. Fortunately, a few people made changes to their plans, and we ended up with nineteen on the street.
Even so, we still felt the effect of the curse.

Poor Tara! She arrived at the parking area in uniform and realized that she had forgotten to put her bag in the car, so she didn't have her piccolo. She volunteered to carry the banner, but we already had that covered. There was nothing else for her to do, do she went home.

Allie went to put her clarinet together and her ligature was missing. She had an extra lyre, so she used the ring from the lyre to hold the reed in place.
When she got to the staging area, someone said a hose clamp would be better. Art reached into his pouch and pulled out two hose clamps. He usesthem to hold his lyre on his trombone. To tighten the hose clamp, Allie needed a screwdriver. Theresa reached into her pouch and pulled out a screwdriver. It was definitely a MacGyver moment.

The banner was carried by James and Irene B.. Her dog, Loki, walked along side. There were four clarinets in the front row: Marcia, Kelly, Kim and Allie. The second row had three flutes - Irene, Karen G. and Elise - and Jack on tenor sax.
We welcomed a new member, Tyler, on trumpet. He marched in the third row between Doug and Mike B.,with Art on trombone at the end of the row. The fourth row had Theresa on bells and Maria on sousaphone. The fifth row had Scott M. and Tim on snare drum and Andy on bass drum.

Several band members showed their holiday spirit with patriotic accessories. Irene and Elise wore matching red, white and blue skirts, and Loki wore red, white and blue bandannas. Theresa had flags in her hair and red, white and blue sunglasses that lit up. Marcia wore Pully's red, white and blue shorts.

Our next event is the Kendall Fire Department Parade on Friday, July 7. See you there!

by Maria on July 1st, 2017

The Penfield Independence Day Parade is very well-organized, but even the best parade committee can't control the weather. It was raining steadily while we were lining up. As we stepped off on the street, the rain stopped and it was cloudy but pleasant. As we neared the end of the parade, the steady rain returned.

We were dripping wet by the time we got back to our cars.  At least it was a warm rain, so it didn't harm anyone. Instruments and music, however, are a different story. Brass and percussion instruments tolerate rain fairly well, but wet woodwind instruments can suffer damage to pads and felts. To protect her alto sax, Cindy fashioned a cover out of a Buffalo Zoo poncho. Even though the music is carried in plastic sleeves, it will still get wet along the openings. If the folio is put away wet, the music will develop black spots of mildew.

We welcomed three new members: Jodi, Zach and Mike.  Jodi plays clarinet and Zach, her son, plays trombone. Mike H. is friend of Matt H.'s.

James and Gabe carried the banner. James is the son of Kelly and Jon; Gabe is the grandson of Karen R.  Tom J. and Kristen's son, TJ, carried the American flag and Mike H. guarded it with a rifle. This was Mike's first parade with us, and it looked like he was having a good time.

Other woodwinds included Margaret and Irene on piccolo, Karen R. on clarinet, Steve on alto sax, and Maria on tenor sax. Other brass included Doug, Bob, Tom J. and Matt H. on trumpet, Anya on baritone. and Josh on sousaphone.

Percussion included Scott M. and Tim on snare drum, Jon and Andy on bass drum and Kristen on cymbals. This was the first time Tim had been able to march with us this season. He inadvertently brought his Christmas folio, so he had to play the entire parade from memory. He did so well that no even noticed. The highlight of the street beat was hearing the cow bell. We suddenly realized how much we missed it.

Kelly marched along beside the banner pulling toddler AJ in a wagon. She did a great job coaching James and Gabe throughout the parade. Tim's wife, Amy, marched along beside the band pushing toddler Lucy in a stroller. Hopefully, these younger marchers will grow to become the next generation of Kelley's Heroes.

After the parade, Tom and Kristen invited us back to their house for a picnic. It was still raining outside, so we ate in the house. It gradually cleared, and some people went swimming. Why do we dislike getting wet marching in the rain but enjoy getting wet swimming?

Our next event is the Chil-E Fest on July 4th. See you there!

by Maria on June 27th, 2017

Back in October, one of our charter members, Don Pullyblank, died unexpectedly. A few months later, his older brother, Bob, died. Bob was never a member of Kelley's Heroes, but through his relationship with Don, he was always very supportive of everything we did, especially our parades. For many years, Bob was the announcer of the Caledonia Fire Department Parade. He was also the announcer for the Caledonia-Mumford Red Raider football team, so it was appropriate for his family to hold a memorial service on the football field.

We sat on the field along with the family and began the ceremony by playing God Bless the USA. During the ceremony, the microphone was available for anyone in attendance to speak. Arnie spoke about Bob's dedication to the Caledonia Fire Department Parade and about how Bob was always ready to assist with its organization. Later, Mary Catherine Hamilton spoke about one year when Bob had a family obligation that conflicted with the parade, and she was asked to fill in for Bob. She recalled how there were seemingly endless pages of comments to read as groups marched past the reviewing stand. Most people, spectators and marchers alike, don't realize how much work goes into organizing a parade. Don was known for playing Trumpet Voluntary at many local weddings, and it was one of Bob's favorites. Tim Kelley's son, Trevor, played it on the trumpet while his proud mother, Heidi, watched from the bleachers. We ended the ceremony by playing When the Saints Go Marching In, a favorite of both Don and Bob.

Marcia, who is Don's daughter and Bob's niece, plays clarinet with us. Other woodwinds were Irene on flute, Karen R. on clarinet, Margaret and Steve on alto sax, and Jack on tenor sax. Since we had no trombones, Cindy played the trombone part on alto sax. She had two musical friends from Tennessee visiting over the weekend, and she brought them, too. Tom played the 2nd trumpet part on a curved silver soprano sax and Jeannie played flute. For brass, Arnie played trumpet and Maria played sousaphone. For percussion, Scott M. played snare drum and Andy played bass drum.

None of the Benedicts could make it because they had a memorial service of their own to attend. Our condolences go to the Benedict family on the loss of their aunt.

We also had some good news. We won second place at the Spencerport FD Parade.

Our next event is the Penfield Independence Day Parade on July 1. See you there!

by Maria on June 15th, 2017

The summer weather finally arrived and it was hot. Thank goodness there was a good breeze!

Nancy from the Bergen Public Library always does a nice job coordinating our participation at this event. She greeted us at the end of the parade and made sure we had everything we needed to do our concert in the park. Thanks, Nancy!

Cindy came back! Marching band is a new experience for Cindy, and her first parade was Memorial Day. She and Margaret played alto sax and Jack played tenor sax. Jack lives in Bergen, and he had a good time being part of this hometown event. Tara was the only flute, and there were no clarinets.

We had four trumpets: Doug, Mike B., Karen L. and Scott W.. Scott W. was glad to be paying trumpet. He also plays snare drum, but he still had blisters from the Spencerport parade. Keenan played trombone. This was first event he's been able to make this season, and he sounded strong. Maria played sousaphone.

Scott M. played snare, Steve played bass drum and Andy played cymbals.

Our next event is a memorial service for Bob Pullyblank. Bob's brother, Don, who died last October, was one of our founding members. Bob was always very supportive of Kelley's Heroes, and his family invited us to be play a couple of songs during his memorial service on Saturday, June 24 at 11:00 am on the Caledonia-Mumford Central School football field. See you there!

by Maria on June 13th, 2017

The weather was perfect for a parade, and that brought out a huge crowd of spectators.

Most of our banner carriers are relatives of band members. This night, our banner carriers were Emma and TJ. Emma's sister plays flute and her mother plays trombone. TJ's father plays trumpet and his mother plays cymbals.

We had a whole row of clarinets: Mel, Marcia, Kim and Allie. Allie just finished her first year at Potsdam, and it was nice to have her back in the area to play with us. There were three flutes: Elise, Margaret and Sarah. Sarah marched with us for the Cal-Mum Youth Baseball Parade, but this was her first parade as an official member of Kelley's Heroes. Jack played tenor sax and Maria played alto sax.
On Memorial Day, we welcomed Sue, a new trombone player. Afterward, she commented that she was grateful that Art, one of our experienced trombone players had been marching behind her so that she could hear and follow him on the trombone part. Coincidentally, Sue's brother is also named Art, and he is also a trombone player. They played side by side through most of their school years, so it sounds very natural to say that the trombone section consisted of Sue and Art.

It was nice to see Karen L. on trumpet. It's been a while since she's been able to make an event. Doug and Tom J. filled out the rest of the trumpet section. Anya played baritone and Josh played sousaphone.

Scott M. and Don S. played snare drum, Andy played bass drum and Kristen played cymbals.
As we turn into the carnival grounds, it's tradition for our band to split and stand at the sides of the street to let the Clifton FD march through us while we play Colonel Bogey March. Then they do the same for us. Just as we were splitting, Tom J. stepped on Maria's heel and her shoe came off on the street.

Irene B. had to work, so she didn't make the parade. However, she was at the carnival grounds afterward with her dog, Loki. He is an adorable American Eskimo beagle mix.

We had some good news: Karen G. is getting married in September. Best wishes, Karen!

Our next event is the Bergen Park Festival this Saturday. See you there!


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