The Scarlet Letter

Fall, 1999 Newsletter of the Rutgers University Bands Alumni Association

Homecoming ‘99

Homecoming 1999. Time once again to drag out the old horn & relive memories of praying you just do well enough at half-time to really earn that orange drink (younger alums- read "bottled water", old timers- whatever was in the flask). Homecoming ’98 was such a success with the nighttime kick-off that this year’s game is also at 6 pm. So here’s the schedule:

Homecoming date:

October 9, 1999


Knight Party 1999


Virginia Tech

Reporting time:

2:00 pm.

Reporting place:

The Bubble


Very limited as usual

Rehearsal time:

2:30 pm. - 4:30 pm.

Pre-game performance:

5 pm.


5:30 pm


6 pm

Please send in the tear-off response form indicating ticket and parking needs ASAP. As last year, parking is very tight do not ask for parking passes if you already have them. Car-pooling is still in order.

The pre-game festivities will be held behind the bubble at the fenced in fields (same place as last year). The alcohol policy has stayed the same as last year, no alcohol at all in the festival area. (They are selling beer & wine).

We will do our best to beg for better seats and more parking but in the end we will take what we can get. You all know what to do with the tear-off response form and know when to do it (SO DO IT). See you at 2 pm on the 9th. Call Frank DeMonico (732) 651-7537 or Barbara Palombi (732) 422-1973 (H) or (732) 805-8031 (W)

Notes from the President

Since you all had to endure my tome in the last newsletter, I will try to keep this as brief as possible. First of all, we have a new web address, ‘WWW.RUBAA.COM’. Stop by and give it a look. Suggestions are always welcome. If you are able to get the newsletter via the web site and do not need to be sent a copy, please remember to let Barb know. The money we save by reducing printing and mailing costs can then be used to help fund other RUBAA activities and services.

Secondly, Jeff Greene is busy setting up contacts with the undergraduate band. We hope to have that rolling soon as we work towards having a permanent, official relationship with the undergraduate band and MYA.

Elections are coming up. The responsibilities are listed in a separate article. If you are interested, please feel free to talk to any one of the current officers.

Since its inception, the R.U Alumni Wind Symphony had made do with hand-me-down music folders. After being used long past their useful life, they have finally given up the ghost. RUBAA has purchased a new set of folders for the group. As a bonus, the RAA and our resident godfather Gene Armstead have generously subsidized a substantial portion of the cost of these folders. Thanks RAA and Gene!

Homecoming is Saturday, October 9 vs Virginia Tech. Details are also found elsewhere in this newsletter. Bill Kellerman and Tim Smith have both expressed a wish to see as many of you there as possible, and I echo that sentiment. See you there.



The lights dim, a hush spreads through the audience until finally, the quiet excitement is felt throughout the hall. That's right...another Wind Symphony concert. Enthusiasm abounds as conductor; Nanette O'Neal raises her baton for this very exciting program. The ensemble began the concert with the Norwegian March, "Valdres"--upbeat and festive. Following the march was "Four Dances from West Side Story," an exciting piece that featured the dance music of the Broadway show of the same name. The audience was swept up by not only its sweet melodies but also by the driving force of the percussion section.

The ensemble was honored to be joined by bass soloist Gregory Newton, who sang "Honor and Arms" from Samson and "O Isis und Osiris" from The Magic Flute. The beauty of Mr. Newton's voice blended wonderfully with our instrumentalists' sounds. These pieces were breathtaking and the Wind Symphony is ever so grateful to Mr. Newton for joining us for this special concert.

Continuing on an upbeat note, the concert also included "The Gathering of the Ranks at Hebron," an exciting piece, which is both inspirational as well as, fast-paced. The group also concluded the concert with "Porgy and Bess," a rich composition which featured wonderful solo performances in the trumpet and saxophone sections.

Another special feature of this concert was a performance of "La Fille Au Cheveux De Lin (The Girl with the Flaxen Hair)" executed magnificently by The RU Alumni Clarinet Choir. This group is comprised of clarinetists from the Wind Symphony and beautifully demonstrates the color and richness that clarinets (contrabass through B-flat) can have.

Closing the concert, the Wind Symphony performed "America the Beautiful," again accompanied/narrated by Mr. Newton's rich, bass voice. The drama of the piece brought tears to many eyes that night.

We have an exciting season planned for our upcoming concert on December 18th (Nicholas Music Center at 8:00 pm). Please mark the date on your calendar and come join us for an evening of delightful music. Be sure to visit our website at:

If you are interested in joining the Wind Symphony, please contact Nanette O'Neal at (732) 220-9467. The ensemble meets on Saturdays from 10:00 am - 12:30 pm. The upcoming rehearsal schedule is as follows:




September 18

McKinney Hall


October 2

McKinney Hall


October 16

McKinney Hall


October 30

McKinney Hall


November 13

McKinney Hall


November 20

Walters Hall


December 4

Walters Hall


December 11

Walters Hall


Week of Dec 12



*Dates and/or Locations may change please contact someone in the group to make sure before attending

All rehearsals run from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm except the dress rehearsal the week of December 12. The concert date is confirmed for Saturday, December 18 at 8:00pm at Nicholas Music Center.

Student Performances

The Wind Ensemble and Concert Band will perform several concerts this fall. Dr. William Berz conducts the Wind Ensemble. The dates for the Wind Ensemble are October 15, November 20 and April 28. The concert dates for the Concert Band is April 25, which will be conducted by both William Kellerman and Tim Smith. Dr. Scott Whitener will be conducting the Brass Ensemble on November 19 and April 7. And new this year the Symphony Band conducted by William Kellerman will have its first concert on December 8 and April 26. On February 18 will feature a concert by both the Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band. All concerts start at 8 pm and are at the Nicholas Music Center, Douglass Campus. Call the music office (732) 932-9302 if you need further information.

Keneely Scholarship

This year’s Keneely Scholarship winners were Shaun Varrecchia (CC’00) and Matthew Gironda (RC’00). Shaun received the first Scholarship given to a Pep Band member and was also a Drum Major. He plays clarinet in the Pep Band and Concert Band. Matt received the 1999 Marching Band Award, he was the Baritone Section Leader. There was no recipient from the Wind Ensemble again this year, we are looking at ways to open up the eligibility requirement for the Wind Ensemble Award. If you have thoughts or ideas please note it on the tear-off.

Running the RUBAA

New officers need to be elected in order to run the RUBAA for the following two years. Any RUBAA dues paying member who is interested in running for any of the offices may run for office. Listed below are the descriptions of the offices of the RUBAA. If you would like more information about any of the positions, please contact the current RUBAA President, Frank DeMonico at (732) 651-7537.

President: Oversees all activities of the RUBAA. Presides at all Executive Committee meetings. Acts as representative to the Executive Board of the RAA. Delegates authority and duties to other members of the RUBAA, and serves as a member ex-officio on all standing committees. Chairs the Election Committee.

Member-at-Large: Maintains relations with the current Rutgers University Undergraduate Bands. Develops programs to assist present Bands members. Runs the RUBAA in the absence of the President. Reviews and maintains Committee reports. Acts as Music Librarian for the RUBAA.

Treasurer: Maintains all financial records for the RUBAA. Assists Financial Chairperson in the development of fund-raising projects. Performs all necessary banking transactions. Approves budgets and payments for committees. Maintains records indicating a member's "active" status.

Financial Chairperson: Develops programs to raise funds for all RUBAA requirements. Assists Treasurer in all financial functions and substitutes for him/her as needed. Analyzes budgetary requirements of committees. Maintains historical records of the RUBAA

Membership Chairperson: Maintains personnel database of all members of the RUBAA. Coordinates all responses for RUBAA events, and produces any necessary reports and/or rosters for such events.

If you are interested in running for one of the RUBAA offices RUBAA, please submit a short (50 word) essay on why you should be elected to that position and submit it with your tear-off for Homecoming. If you are not sure about running, please see any of the current officers at Homecoming so we can reduce your hesitations. We will be accepting essays to run for RUBAA offices through November 17, 1999.

The elected term lasts for two years and begins on Alumni Day-2000. Elections will be conducted in the Spring 2000 edition of the Scarlet Letter.

News from the Band Office

Greetings to all from the Directors' office,

It is my pleasure to write to you as the new Assistant Director of Bands for Rutgers University. My new position will involve many things, perhaps one of the most important of which will be a very new and concentrated effort to reach out to everyone in our State. One of our many goals is to make The Rutgers University Band Program, the pride of the State of New Jersey. There is no better group to reach out to first than to those of you who spent so much time during your years at Rutgers on the field, and stage working toward the goals that we are continuing to strive for today. Bill Kellerman and I will do our best to make you very proud to say that you are part of the long history that our Bands have.

Dr. Francis Lawrence, Dr. Bill Berz, Bob Mulcahy, and Kevin

MacConnell, have taken a giant step in the support of the Band program at Rutgers. The creation of two full time faculty positions to operate the band is testament to that. Many of you know Bill Kellerman from his years as Assistant Director of the Band. He now assumes the roll of Director of Athletic Bands. In his new position he will direct the Marching Band, and work as Associate Director of Bands with Bill Berz, spending time on the podium in front of the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Band, and Concert Band. Professor Kellerman will also continue to teach euphonium, as well as a methods course in The Mason Gross School of the Arts.

My new position as Assistant Director of Bands will involve a considerable amount of outreach as I mentioned above. I will be responsible for the administrative aspects of the operation, as well as maintaining a very active role teaching on the field. You may have noticed the mention of a third ensemble that will now grace the stage of The Nicholas Music Center. The podium for this Band will be shared by Bill K. and myself. I will also spend some time with the Symphony Band. Once Basketball season arrives on the Banks, I will direct the Rutgers Pep Band. During all of this we will maintain a vigorous attempt to keep our talented high school musicians in our State, and in our bands at Rutgers!

Pride runs deep in this University in both Bill Kellerman and myself. Keeping the memory of the past alive is important for any organization, especially for one with a tradition as rich as our Band. Please stay in touch with us. Come out to home coming on October 9 and relive your days on the field. Our alumni are very dear to us, and are always welcome.

The goals we have set are lofty, but we will reach them. With the support of the entire Rutgers Band community, the Rutgers Band will remain an organization that we will continue to be proud of.

All the Best Always, Timothy G. Smith,

Assistant Director of Bands

News from the Web Front

The RUBAA Web site has been up for about 4 months now and we've seen about 400 hits since its inception. The site is currently on FortuneCity's server at If all goes well, by the time you read this, our new address will be: Our e-mail is Another new feature of the web site is the alumni locator. Basically, you email us your request and once we verify your identity, we'll e-mail you the most current info we have.

Why the ".com" address? After all, we're closer to a ".org" than a ".com". I thought long and hard about this and decided that since the vast majority of casual surfers normally type in .com for URLs we would go with the flow. Also, most browsers default to the ".com" ending if all you type in is www.rubaa.

That said, we need content for the site. I'm looking for recent news of what's happening in your life, memories of you days in the band (not limited to marching and pep bands), and photos for the archives (one of the duties of the Financial Officer is to also be the historian). We've gotten a few photos from Eileen Pall, including the front photo of Steve Keneely (circa 1975). If I can pry some better quality videos from Frank, I may be able to put some video capture pics on the site (and maybe, if Santa brings me a new computer for Christmas I'll be able to add video streaming to the site).

Once again, I am always open to suggestions on improving the site (if you know and HTML code that would jazz things up or are a real web-head let me know). I could also use some more good links to band-related sites.

On the Fund-raising front, I have been kicking around a couple of thoughts. The first is for everyone to buy lots of tickets for the 50/50 at homecoming. Second, would anyone be interested in a "Super 50/50"? We could sell 50 tickets at $50 each. The $2500 pot would be split between the winner and the scholarship fund. See the Yes/No block for this on the tear-off. Finally one of the most effective ways to raise funds is through golf tournaments (4-person, captain's choice so skill isn't much of a factor). How many of you would be interested in participating in a golf tournament (say a $25 entry fee plus green fees). We could try for Rutgers as the host course or perhaps I could get the McGuire AFB or Ft Dix course to support this function (both are excellent courses with VERY reasonable green fees). Again, look for the reply block on the tear-off. The $25 would pay for food and drinks during the tourney (also prizes - we'll! have to also get some help in this department from alumni members for donated prizes). If it looks like a go, I'll also need some volunteers to help organize it. We could raise a good amount of money with an event like this. Let me know what you think.

Half Notes

From Matt Kansfsky (RC’90) So, what's going on with me? Well, I am finally moving back to the East Coast. Jennie Kreiger (RC’91) will defend for her PhD some time in December or January so it seems like now is pretty much the time to leave Buckeye Central. We will be moving to the Boston area. Hopefully this fall I will be able to come down to New Brumfus to see the Homecoming game.

For the second straight year Ralph Cicchelli (RC’73) wishes to thank the numerous RUBAA and MYA alumni for their thoughts, cards and prayers. He continues to be free (apparently) of any cancer. With the all the medical calamities that hit his family in 1998 (losing 4 relative in 6 months) and two operations himself and in dealing with a loving spouse suffering for a chronic degenerative condition (late onset Tay-Sachs), he feels that better days are ahead.

After demonstration of his bassoon at his kid’s school, Bruce Davison (RC’81) has started an epidemic – 4 6th graders want to learn to play bassoon. Since none of the teachers know bassoon Bruce may have to take on the role of instructor.

Jaki Fesq (DC’74) and Bruce Haislip (RC’75)’s daughter Ali will be attending Boston College in the fall. They tried to convince her to go out for the college band but she is not interested. (High School Band was enough)

Ariana Finkelstein (CC’92) is now a veterinarian at the Popcorn Park Animal Clinic & Zoo in Forked River, NJ. She gets to treat dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and other exotic species.

Richard Hadden (RC’32) and his wife Francis Roots Hadden have a new CD coming out. "Lu Shan" is under the Cambria Records Label.

Though he is now legally blind, Doug Heine (RC’75) is still able to play the organ for his church.

Gerry Karetnick (RC’97) has survived Part One of the Osteopathic Medical Boards. He recently presented a research poster entitled "Primary Care Physician Practice Patterns in the Diagnosis of Dementia" at the American Geriatrics Society Convention, Philadelphia in May. This poster won third prize at the Atlantic Regional Osteopathic Convention in Atlantic City. He will also be presenting this research American Osteopathic Association convention in San Francisco in October. He is currently a third year medical student at UNDNJ-School of Medicine.

Jennifer (Baumann, DC’89) Patuto and her husband have moved to Hunterdon County and love the cows in their backyard.

Lenny Bloksberg (CC’84) and Laine Ratsep (DC’84) have bought a house in New Zealand so it looks like they are staying. Lenny's active in his temple, serving as Chairman of both the Ritual and Fund-Raising committees. He also was awarded a patent last year on his work on radiata (Monterrey) pine. Laine is active in the Auckland City Brass band, playing cornet and flugelhorn (they have no room in the horn section). They recently purchased 2 used sousaphones from the US, which caused quite a stir when they arrived, as they had been marching with concert tubas! It's a somewhat different culture, to say the least.

Laurie Roland (DC’76) is teaching Family and Consumer Science full time at South Brunswick High School. She also sings actively with Sweet Adelines and a quartet "Four Instance." She is currently the cantor at St. Barnabas Episcopalian Church, South Brunswick. Her oldest son Brian just graduated on the Dean’s List from The Culinary Institute of America. He toured Europe for a month and is now a chef at Jasna Polana Golf & Country Club in Princeton.

Nick Santoro (R’73) has been elected president-elect of the NJ Music Educators Association.

Stephen (LC’86) & Rosanne (Cillo, RC’86) Schwab are back in NJ after eight years in North Carolina. Rosanne took advantage of a relocation through Lucent Technologies to bring their children (Carmella, 5 and David, 3) closer to their families. Rosanne plays bass clarinet with the Whitehouse Wind Symphony, along with a few other alums. Steve freelances at home and stays with the kids.

Both Bill Paliwoda (RC’83) and Craig Willits (RC’83) were recently selected for promotion to Lt. Col. in the US Air Force. Bill is stationed at McGuire AFB, NJ and Craig is stationed at the Pentagon, Washington, DC.


Glennysha Jurado (RC’91) is marrying Scott Stulpin on April 15, 2000. They will live in the Rahway/Winfield area.

Sandi Bernstein, (RC’90) will marry Ethan Solomon on June 11, 2000 and will live in the Plainsboro area most likely.

Planing an April 1, 2000 wedding are John Babish (Eng’92) and Heather Kos. They both play in their church choir Heather plays French Horn.

Audrie DeFalco (DC’95) who is working in Teaneck as a meeting planner, became engaged on Valentines Day to Aaron Tornow. They are planing a May 14, 2000 wedding.

On October 10, 1998, Gina Dilio (DC’95) married Mike Radano. Suzanne Spirock (DC’97) and Dawn Wistreich (Bishop, DC’94) were bridesmaids. Among the guests was AJ Burnett (CC’97).

Carin Schaufele (RC’86) became Mark Style’s wife on November 22, 1998. They honeymooned in Costa Rica and have moved to Lawrenceville, NJ.

Terri Cimaroli (LC’93) wed James Creeden (RC’93) and are living in Piscataway.

Patty Moran (RC’95) and Bob Micks (RC’94) were married in Voorhees Chapel on May 8, 1999. Audrie DeFalco (DC’95) was a bridesmaid.

On May 29, 1999, Dawn Bishop (DC’94) married Mike Wistreich. Audrie DeFalco (DC’95) was the wedding party.

Stork Arrivals

On October 1, 1998, Rhonda Berliner-Gold (RC’89) and her husband Jonathan welcomed their son Joshua Nathan Gold. He weighed 8 lbs., 9oz and was 19 ½ inches long.

Gracy and Rolland Coutinho (CC’88) were blessed with a healthy baby girl, Theresa Elizabeth. Dad sings "On the Banks" when she has trouble going to sleep. She was born December 12, 1998 and was 7 lbs., 1 oz and 19 ¼ inches.

Richard (Pharm’88) and Suzanne Bieser welcomed their first child, Alec Emery on March 3,1999. He weighed in at 9 lbs., 15 oz and was 22 inches long. Dad projects him at power forward for the Knights 2017/2018 Basketball Season.

Janice (Erickson, RC’89) Mehalick and Jim welcomed Mary Grace on March 20, 1999. She was born at 12:41 am, after 22 hours of labor, and was 7 lbs., 14 oz and 20 ½ inches. Janice writes: "Now we all know why it’s called labor."

It was a boy!!! John Anthony Lettang joined the Lettang clan on July 26, 1999. Proud parents are Janet (Long, RC84) and Frank. His doting big sisters are Francesca, Katrina and Anna. He weighed in at 8 lbs., 12 oz.

Our newest band baby honors goes to Margaret Rose Doyle was welcomed into the world and into Pat (EG’89) and Sandy’s family at 9:47 am on August 27, 1999. She weighed-in at 7 lbs. 13 oz. She and her mother are healthy and doing very well. Joe, who will be three in just over a week, is very happy to be a big brother.

Homecoming ‘99

October 9, 1999

Rutgers Vs Virginia Tech

Please Respond by:

September 25, 1999


Barbara Palombi

446 Wheeler Road

North Brunswick, NJ 08902-2710


 The electronic version of the tear off can be downloaded (right click on the hyperlink and choose "save target as" or "save link as" depending on your browser) and edited in WORD. One you have filled it out save your changes and e-mail it back to Barb as an attachment.