by Maria on November 2nd, 2017

The Caledonia Quilt Guild has been very busy. Their goal was to make a quilt for every local veteran. Today they presented those quilts to over 60 veterans. Kelley's Heroes is honored to have been part of the festivities.

We stood outside the entrance of Caledonia-Mumford Middle School and played while veterans, accompanied by their family and friends, arrived for the ceremony. Then we went indoors and participated in the ceremony by playing The Star-Spangled Banner and Armed Forces Salute. During the latter, veterans stood during the official song of their branch of service, and the audience gave them a round of applause.

Almost everyone who played in the Roberts Wesleyan College Homecoming Parade (see previous post) in the morning also played for this event. We lost one - Tyler stayed at RWC to participate in homecoming activities - and added two - Arnie on trumpet and Don H. on tuba. Bob had to leave right after we were done playing because he had to be in Rochester to work 3:00 pm to midnight.

These events mark the end of of our summer marching season, but we're not done yet. Now we'll be switching to our Christmas books and getting ready for three Christmas parades. Look for us as we march around Caledonia on November 5 and 12. You are welcome to march along!

by Maria on November 2nd, 2017

Most of the summer was cool and rainy, so it's ironic that the first week of fall has a forecast of sunny days with temperatures into the 80s. Even though the morning was cool, by the time the parade started at 11:00 am, the sun was overhead and it was hot. As we walked through patches of shade, we could definitely feel a difference.

The saxophone section was well-represented. Margaret usually plays alto sax,  but today she played piccolo. There were no other flutes or clarinets. Cindy played alto sax, and Jack and Maria played tenor sax. Steve usually plays alto sax, but today he was covering bass drum.

Mike W., Bob and Tyler played trumpet. Mike W. drove an hour from Newark to march today. Tyler is a freshman at Roberts Wesleyan College. After he played trumpet with us for the parade, he helped out with one of the college homecoming activities. Then he had plans to do some homework in the afternoon. There were no trombones, and unfortunately no tuba. Maria did her best to play some tuba parts on the tenor sax.

Scott M. played snare drum and, as mentioned earlier, Steve played bass drum.

After the parade, we all stopped at Tim Hortons for a quick lunch and headed to Caledonia-Mumford Central School for the Caledonia Quilt Guild's Veterans Quilt Presentation. See the next post for that story.

by Maria on September 11th, 2017

Honor Flight is a wonderful event, and Kelley's Heroes was pleased to be part of today's celebration. According to the Honor Flight website, they accept applications from "veterans who served prior to 1964 along with veterans from any era who suffer a catastrophic illness. " The veterans fly to Washington, D.C. to see their war memorials. Upon their return, they are greeted at the airport by veterans groups, family and friends. Local bands take turns providing music for the festivities, and today was our turn.

We had a great turnout! Irene, Tracey and Tara played flute. Tracey had her three boys - Zach, Jake and Josh - in tow. They looked all-American in their Boy Scout uniforms. Marcia, Karen R. and Jodi played clarinet. Margaret, Steve and Mike H. played alto sax, and Jack and Maria played tenor sax. Heartbreak Hotel, a sax feature, sounded amazing with five saxes.

There were four trumpets: Matt H., Tom, Bob and Arnie. Arnie brought a large photo of his father, Stanley, a World War II vet to display next to our banner. Harold, Scott M. and Zach played trombone. Scott usually plays snare drum, but since we were indoors, one snare drum played by Don S. was enough. Harold and his wife, Emily (cymbals) brought their three-month-old daughter, Eva. She was all smiles listening to the music and watching the people. Josh played sousaphone.

Don S. played snare drum, and Kristen played bass drum. Emily and TJ played cymbals. TJ's sister, Kayla, was also present. She occasionally carries the banner when we march in parades, but soon she'll be old enough to play trumpet with us.

This week we received some good news. We won first place in the Hamlin FD Parade.

We have two events coming up on September 23. In the morning we'll be marching in the Roberts Wesleyan Homecoming Parade. Later, in the afternoon, we'll be playing for another event honoring our veterans. The Caledonia Quilt Guild will present quilts to about 100 Vietnam veterans.

by Maria on September 3rd, 2017

This is another one of those parades we haven't done in a few years, so it was nice to be back in Hamlin. We marched with the Kendall/East Battalion Fire Departments.

There were no flutes, and we did miss hearing the trills on some of the songs. Kim, Karen and Jodi doubled most of the trills on the clarinet; Margaret played alto sax, and Maria and Jack played tenor sax.

Tyler, Matt H. and Bob played trumpet; Zach played trombone and Anya played baritone. Don played sousaphone (on his helicon). He had to leave right after the parade and couldn't stay for the beer tent. Some people take the bass line for granted, but It makes a big difference in the overall sound when a band loses its bass line.

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

Several of our band members play with other bands, and the beer tent is a good example of how we share. Some of our members were playing with The Hilton Generations Band tonight, and they invited us to play a joint rendition of Sing, Sing, Sing with them. Some of our band members also play with the Mark Time Marchers, and they had a parade the next morning, so we didn't want to stay too late.

The marching season is winding down. There are only two more events before we change over to Christmas music! Our next event is Honor Flight at the Rochester International Airport on Sunday, September 10.

Update: We took first place in the Hamlin FD Parade.

by Maria on September 3rd, 2017

Unfortunately, we had to cancel our participation in this event. There were severe weather warnings for strong winds, heavy rain, thunder and lightning. Several band members had concerns, especially since there is no shelter where the parade lines up.

In the end, the Clifton Fire Department delayed the start of the parade by one half hour. The parade was smaller than usual because many groups canceled, as we did. The crowd of spectators was small, too. After all, not many people want to stand in the rain - not to mention the lightning - and watch a parade!

Our next event is the Hamlin FD Parade on August 18. See you there!

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