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.

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.”

New Website

Welcome to our new website! We hope you like it.

If you encounter any difficulties (broken links, etc.), contact us and we’ll set our team of web-gnomes to repair the damage straight away.

Instrument Drive

As anyone who has been in the Columbia Band knows, keeping a proper store of instruments for use by student musicians is an ongoing struggle, one that CUBAA hopes to help ease. Most immediately, several of the Marching Band’s instruments need repairs before the start of football season. The Band also could make good use of an additional trumpet or two, as well as other instruments, and needs to replenish its supply of drumsticks, reeds, brass mouthpieces, valve oil, flip folders, lyres and other accessories that make a band a band.  Read more

Carnegie Hall Recordings

Band alumni have been unearthing a range of Band recordings from decades past: Jazz Band tapes from the ’70s, Concert Band tapes from the ’60s, even a couple of 78 RPM records cut in 1933 by the (ahem) Columbia University Symphonic Band. The prize finds so far are tapes of two Carnegie Hall joint concerts: one with Lehigh’s band in 1963, one with Harvard’s in 1965. For alums of the sixties, we plan to release those two as CD sets, with souvenir brochures containing programs, notes, photos and – yes – lists of the performers, so you can prove to your kids and grandkids that you were there. Watch this space.