Archive for Sam

Homecoming 2014

The weekend past: A big thank you to those who joined us at our alumni reception Friday, October 24 and at Homecoming on Saturday the 25th. The Marching Band fielded 69 musicians and miscies at the game and – we thought – sounded outstanding, thanks to a large contingent of lower brass and an increasing emphasis on musicality. The managers tell us that the repairs and purchases made possible by our instrument drive play a big part in the group’s improved sound, which makes us feel real good. You’ll find a few choice photos of the weekend below.

Saturday afternoon, November 8: Some alumni have expressed interest in gathering to cheer on the Marching Band at the upcoming Columbia-Harvard game in Cambridge. There may be a group traveling from New York: Band groupies. We’ll try to help non-Cantabridgians link up for transportation to Harvard Stadium; please email columbiabandalumni [at] Let me know also, please, if you’re in the Boston area and would like to come sit with the Band or bring your instrument and play along.

Monday evening, November 10: The Wind Ensemble, coming off its first concert of the academic year last night, is calling an open rehearsal to include Wind Ensemble and Concert Band alumni. Get or keep in shape by sitting in as the group works on Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture” and other pieces under its new director, Jason Noble. For details of time and place, email

Band People in the News

Here is a quick roundup of band people in the news!

Mozelle Thompson CC76 LAW81
, who played violin with the Marching Band, has received a John Jay Award from the Columbia College Alumni Association. The honor, for “distinguished professional achievement,” is presented annually at a fund-raising dinner that helps to support the College’s John Jay National Scholars program for first-year students. (This year’s take for the evening: $1.1 million.) Mozelle, a former commissioner of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and an early strategic adviser to a start-up tech company called Facebook, now is a consultant to other businesses, small and large. “Columbia taught me how to value ideas, from whatever the source, and gave me the confidence to fight for them,” he said in his acceptance speech. “These are lessons that I learned not only from the classroom, but also from my classmates.”

Chris Wiggins SEAS93, trombone player and head manager 1991-92, has been tapped as the first-ever chief data scientist at The New York Times. Wiggins, an associate professor of applied mathematics at Columbia, will lead the newspaper’s efforts to analyze data about how its content is produced and consumed, or, as Fast Company put it, he’ll be helping the Times “make sense of the massive troves of data produced by people clicking around its website.” A key goal of his efforts will be to figure out how the Times, in an era of lower newspaper ad revenue, can attract and keep paying subscribers. “The dominant challenges in science and in business are becoming more and more data science challenges,” says Chris.

Evelyn Jagoda CC14, a trumpet player and 2013 spirit manager, has received a Gates Cambridge Scholarship for graduate study at the University of Cambridge. The highly competitive award, paid for by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will cover the full cost of her work toward a master’s degree in Biological Anthropological Science. Evvy, a junior Phi Beta Kappa selectee who is completing her major in Evolutionary Biology, plans to study the genomes of people living in Southeast Asia and Siberia with the goal of examining the genetic relationships among populations to find out how genetic information was transmitted. The research, she says, has the potential to aid in present-day medical research by looking at how disease-causing and disease-resistant genes were transmitted to modern humans. Evvy told Spectator that she sees value in the Band experience as well as in academics. “Band reminds me that it’s important to help people in specific direct ways,” she said, “but something that also helps people is providing a fun, spirited community.”

Horns N Hoops Reunion

More than a dozen alumni from all years attended our annual Horns N Hoops reunion, which was held on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 in Levien Gym. The Lions defeated Brown in a close game (final score 70-68) and the band rocked out to classics like Who Owns New York and Roar Lion Roar as well as newer material that included The Final Countdown.

Check out this clip of the band!