Website Update Begins!

Hey Wahoos!

The CMBAA Board of Directors has made it a goal of 2017 to update this website, and continue to find ways to use it strategically to reach out to you all and stay connected.

To that end, we are adding meeting minutes from recent years (yes…years…whoops), starting with the 2015 “State of the Association”!

Thank you for your continued support as we undergo some virtual construction. Wahoowa!

The 2014 State of the CMBAA

Welcome to college football season! That means Fall is just around the corner, and so is Homecomings!

As we get closer to our Annual Meeting, you might find yourself asking, “What on earth has the CMBAA been up to in 2014?” If that’s the case, then do we have a treat for you! Please find attached a copy of this year’s State of the CMBAA newsletter. In this publication, you’ll find updates on the directors and work over the past year, important Association news, and upcoming events. Be sure to check out our Treasurer’s message to get a better idea of what it costs the CMBAA to operate on an annual basis and learn more about how the Board is positioning the Association to address long-term fiscal solvency.

As always, if you have questions or would like to get involved with the CMBAA, please email Josh Richards (

Josh Richards
View the 2014 State of the Association

2 Quavers for a Crotchet?

Like many of my fellow 2011 graduates, I spent last spring wishing time would slow down. Looking back, my four years at UVA seemed to fly by, and even extending my time in Charlottesville by staying for the summer after graduation didn’t do much to quell my anxiety about entering “the real world.”  I chose to put off the real world (more or less) and spend a year volunteering in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England. One of the hardest aspects of this decision was knowing that I wouldn’t be able to come back for any of the home football games to see the band. I even thought about bringing my trombone but decided there was little chance I’d actually use it. After the earthquake hit while I was packing, and then Hurricane Irene was scheduled to hit DC the day of my flight, I struggled a bit to convince myself that unusual natural disasters were not, in fact, bad omens, and set off for London.

When I got to London I spent a few days sightseeing on my own before heading up to Newcastle to meet my flat-mates and fellow volunteers, one from Brazil, the other from the Philippines. A week or two after arriving in Newcastle I learned about a community band in the city and emailed them on a whim asking if I could join (and if they had a trombone I could use). Surprisingly, they said they did have one and invited me to come and play with them the following week.  I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to keep up for the 2-hour rehearsal after not playing all summer.

I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting when I walked into the first rehearsal, but I’ll admit I felt a little out of place when I realized I was the only girl in the low brass section — and I was about 40 years younger than everyone else. In the weeks since, though, I’ve come to really enjoy playing in the band and look forward to Tuesday nights. It’s definitely not what I’m used to — in typical British fashion every rehearsal includes a tea break (yes, everyone stops to drink tea and eat cookies before going back to playing) and half of the time I’m not quite sure what the director is talking about because they have different words for things. I’ve figured out that “crotchet” and “quaver” are “quarter note” and “eighth note” but I’m still not sure which is which. I’ve also learned that “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is only popular in America because when it came up in one of the Christmas medleys we’re playing, no one else knew it. So now the director asks me every time we play it whether he has the correct tempo and if it sounds ok. I don’t even think I’m the only American in the group but somehow I’ve become the resident American Christmas song expert and I’m ok with that.

The rest of my time I split between working at an afterschool art center for kids and a center for people who have come to the UK to avoid being persecuted in their own country, known as asylum seekers. While I really do enjoy the work I do both with the kids and with the asylum seekers, there are a lot of times where I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing.  My economics degree just didn’t prepare me for leading a session in woodwork with a bunch of kids wielding saws and drills who are looking to me to help them build a go-kart out of wood. So though I’m embracing new experiences and learning all I can from them, there’s something very comforting about the familiarity of sitting in band rehearsal each week. In fact, while you are all celebrating Thanksgiving I will be at my first Newcastle Community Band concert and I can’t imagine a better way to spend my first holiday away from home.

~Kathleen Gardner

Hej from Umeå!

Thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation and the Swedish Research Council, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to spend the last few months collaborating with a professor in the Epidemiology and Global Health program at Umeå University in north-central Sweden. This marks my first extended visit to another country and, as others have written in this newsletter before, it’s been an amazing experience. Perhaps Sweden is a little “easier” to visit than many other spots on the map because it’s part of the developed western world and the people are incredibly willing to speak English, but the adventure has been enjoyable nonetheless. I still remember my first visit to the grocery store at the end of August trying to figure out which carton contained the milk in a dairy section full of identically-shaped white cardboard boxes.

Some of the similarities between Charlottesville and Umeå have been fun to notice. For starters, the towns are nearly identical in size—roughly 100,000 people in the city and surrounding county. The university here is the focal point of the town, as true back home, and there’s a large hospital that accounts for much of the workforce. There is a nice mixture of restaurants and pubs in the “city center,” including one that hosts a Wednesday night trivia game (although it’s music trivia…in Swedish). There are also some very visible differences, including the reliance on biking as a main mode of transportation for students and townspeople alike,  sometimes shockingly high prices (65 kroner for a beer at the pub…), and the “fika” tea and coffee break that everyone takes at 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. each weekday.

As a climatologist, I’m obligated to report in on the weather. Umeå is just a couple hundred miles south of the Arctic Circle, so when former drum major and current Ann Arbor, Michigan resident David Knight joked with me about a competition to see who would have the first snowfall, I was sure I had the upper hand. It turns out we were both tricked, as the late October Nor’Easter gave Charlottesville and the mid-Atlantic the gold medal in the Daves’ race to first snow.  It is my understanding that Ann Arbor took the silver medal on Nov. 10, and the forecast is clear of any snowflakes here until at least November 20. Temperatures have been very mild with only a few frosty mornings so far.  Of course the most noticeable difference between here and home is the amount of daylight. It’s getting light around 7:30 a.m. this week, but the sun is completely gone by 3:30 p.m. As I write at 4:30 p.m., it looks like the middle of night outside. And there are still 5 weeks to go before the solstice! The people here embrace the snow because it makes everything brighter in a place without much wintertime sun.

Looking forward to seeing the 2011 CMB live at the VPI game on November 26. Hope to see many fellow alumni there.

Dave Hondula
(Trombone/DM 2004–2006)

Alumni Update – Erik Murad

It’s been a crazy couple of years since I graduated from UVA in 2008!  After graduating I worked for a few years before going back to school for a graduate degree.  I started my MBA at the University of Maryland last year and will finish up this May (but don’t worry, I’m still a Wahoo before a Terp!)  My brother Rick, also a CMB alumnus, is here with me getting his MBA degree and will finish up this May as well.

I still look back on my experiences with the CMB as some of the best experiences I had in college.  I really miss getting to blast away on the trombone every weekend!  It’s great to know how much the band has grown since I graduated.  I hear the trombone section has doubled in size since 2008!  I remember seeing the Disney homecoming show a few years back and thinking that it was one of the best marching shows I had ever seen!

Hope all of the CMB alums out there are doing well!  Hopefully I will be back sometime soon to say hi to everyone and see the fancy new building they have built for the CMB.  Best wishes to everyone.

Erik Murad
CMB Grad 2008