Archive for Peter Andrews

Winter 2014 Update: Archive expansion and end-of-year notes

As the 2014 calendar and the fall semester wind down, here’s some of what’s happening in the world of the Columbia bands and their alumni:

Marching Band. With football season now in the sports history books, the CUMB has moved indoors to support the Lions at all men’s and women’s home games; the group plans at least one trip to an Ivy away game next semester. Meantime, the Band’s musicians have been learning a few new songs and its scriptwriters have been working overtime to prepare for the 69th semi-annual Orgo Night, Dec. 11 at 11:59 PM; no doubt Butler Library staff and campus security are putting sand bags and barricades in place to get ready for the big show.  

Wind Ensemble. Several still-playing alumni – mostly from the 1970s – visited the Wind Ensemble for a special open rehearsal last month; one of them came back to campus a second time earlier this week to perform at the group’s holiday concert in Roone Arledge Auditorium. Woodwind and brass chamber groups, offshoots of the full ensemble, added to the concert program. Next big CUWE date is the seventh annual Columbia Festival of Winds: March 8. For further details, watch this space.

Rare Footage Found! It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t cheap, but after more than two years of searching we’ve managed to obtain from NBCUniversal a copy of the Band’s first appearance in a motion picture: a short released by Universal Pictures in 1935. The 19-minute two-reeler was made by a long-forgotten director and features long-forgotten actors. In fact, the sole name on the opening credits that means anything today is that of the Columbia University Band, which in its five or six minutes on screen runs through three choruses of “Who Owns New York” (play-sing-play), “Sans Souci,” “Stand Up and Cheer” and a good chunk of the prélude to Act III of Wagner’s Lohengrin. (Wow!)

Another recent acquisition in the historic video category, a donation from a Band alumnus, is a VHS recording of the Marching Band at Homecoming 1988, the day the great 44-game losing streak was broken; we hope to digitize it soon for easy viewing. We’re always on the lookout for old photos, documents and audio and video recordings of the Marching Band, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble or Jazz Band: any era, any format.

And since it cost a bit for that rare 1935 movie, and even simple digitization of a videotape doesn’t come free, if your end-of-year charitable inclinations lean toward the kinds of things we’re doing for the kids and for us ex-kids, please consider directing some of your generosity in our direction. CUBAA is a 501(c)(3), so your gift is entirely tax deductible.

You can donate securely via PayPal or a credit card with a simple click here. Or, if you prefer, send your check to:

Columbia University Band Alumni Association, Inc.
c/o Samantha Rowan
312 East 23rd Street #4D
New York, NY 10010

A wonderful December to all!

Fall 2014 Update — Homecoming!

You won’t want to miss another great gathering of band alumni, centered around Homecoming 2014 — Columbia vs. Dartmouth on Saturday, October 25!

Annual Homecoming Reception & Reunion
On Friday, Oct. 24, alumni of the Marching Band, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band will again gather at the Columbia Alumni Center, 622 West 113th Street, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. If you’re in or near New York, please join us to munch some light snacks, reminisce with other Band alumni of your era and meet some new alums of all vintages. The current Marching Band will be there too, eager to meet you.

Play Along!
As usual, alumni who still have the chops are invited to play at the Homecoming game vs. Dartmouth, Saturday, Oct. 25. (Kickoff is 1:30 PM.) Luisa Cruz CC97 will guest conduct “Sans Souci” at the end of halftime. If you’d like to bring your instrument or borrow one and play on the field or just in the stands, please let us know soon. We can even provide sheet music for “Roar, Lion, Roar” if you’ve forgotten your part.

Share Your Band Stories
The University-wide Columbia Alumni Association has launched a community-building initiative to gather stories and experiences from alumni around the globe this month. They’d love to have Band memories in the mix. You can tell the world here.

The Fall Season Has Begun!
Back on campus, the Wind Ensemble is preparing for its autumn concert, probably to take place in late October. The Marching Band, bigger than it has been in some time, is having its growing pains partly softened by support from your Association’s instrument drive; look for some new instruments and some newly restored ones when you next see the group in action.

Richard B. Heyman, CC ’69, Passes Away

Richard B. Heyman

Richard B. Heyman

With sadness, we report the death on August 13 of former Columbia Band tuba player and head manager Richard B. Heyman CC ’69. After his band career, Dick earned his medical degree at Columbia and went on to be a longtime pediatrician in Cincinnati and its suburban areas. He mostly retired to Hilton Head, South Carolina, only withdrawing fully from his medical practice when he became ill this past June. In Hilton Head, he enjoyed zip lining with his grandchildren, and also served on the Board of Directors of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra.

His former colleagues at Suburban Pediatric Associates paid tribute to him on the medical group’s Facebook page, noting some of his very Band-like qualities:

…There are so many things that we will miss at SPA about Dr. Heyman. For the past 36 years he graced us with his wisdom, his humor, his songs, his limericks, his pranks, and especially his wonderful hugs.

The full obituary, published in The Island Packet, can be found here.

As a remembrance, we would like to share this picture of Dick from the archives, taken at the King’s Crown Activities Fair in 1968. In it, he wears the infamous “raccoon coat” — in the band of the 1960s, it was typically worn by the head manager.

Richard Heyman in the raccoon coat, 1968.

Richard Heyman in the raccoon coat, 1968.


From the past: The 1957 Trumpet Section

The 1957 Columbia University Marching Band Trumpets

The 1957 Columbia University Marching Band Trumpets

Courtesy of band alum Jay Carrigan, we’re happy to share this photo of the 1957* trumpet section, attired in the extremely stylish blazers of the day. The photo was taken by trombone player Roger Field at the football game against Princeton.

We’ve been able to identify the following people… if you know any of the other faces, or want to share your own piece of band history, write to us at columbiabandalumni [at]!

Front row, third from right: Marty Sheller. Back row, second from left: Joe Rubin; third from right: Larry Stern; second from right: Jay Carrigan.

Edited: Upon further review, we’ve concluded that the picture is from 1957 and not from 1961, as was originally posted. Please feel free to throw things at the webmaster.

Reunion Weekend Gathering

The alumni of the Marching Band, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Band are getting together on campus on Saturday, May 31 as part of Reunion Weekend.

We will be meeting in the Broadway Room on floor 2W of Lerner Hall on Saturday May 31 at 3:30 PM.

We’ll have a nice collection of old concert programs you can peruse (and look for your name), and other memorabilia of the recent and not-so-recent past. Some of the current crop will drop by to meet those who paved the way, including a couple of special guests! The Marching Band will also have a limited supply of merchandise on sale.

Whether or not you’re in one of the official reunion classes – the ‘4s and ‘9s – if you can get to Morningside on the 31st we hope you’ll join us!

Please RSVP or direct questions to to