Friday, June 14, 2019

Hanover Area band alumsplan 25-year reunion - Wilkes Barre Times-Leader

Hanover Area band alumsplan 25-year reunion - Wilkes Barre Times-Leader


Hanover Area band alumsplan 25-year reunion - Wilkes Barre Times-Leader

Posted: 13 May 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Hanover Area Marching Band alum Matthew Cannavale and his father, former Band Boosters president Ron Shandorf, look over memorabilia they will bring to a June 8 reunion, planned for members and friends of Hanover Area’s award-winning marching band of the 1990s. Cannavale’s sister, Andrea, and brother, Tony, are also alumni of the band. Mary Therese Biebel | Times Leader Hanover Area Marching Band alum Matthew Cannavale and his father, former Band Boosters president Ron Shandorf, look over memorabilia they will bring to a June 8 reunion, planned for members and friends of Hanover Area's award-winning marching band of the 1990s. Cannavale's sister, Andrea, and brother, Tony, are also alumni of the band. - Mary Therese Biebel | Times Leader
Ron Shandorf has a collection of photos from 1993 to 1996, when the Hanover Area Marching Band took first place honors in Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast Championship competitions three times. Submitted photo Ron Shandorf has a collection of photos from 1993 to 1996, when the Hanover Area Marching Band took first place honors in Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast Championship competitions three times. - Submitted photo

When Amber Hyder looks back to the mid-1990s, she remembers a perfect storm.

No, it wasn't the day her Hanover Area Marching Band played through "pouring rain, hail, snow and freezing rain" and still won a Tournament of Bands Championship at Montage Mountain.

Rather, it was four years of musical excellence, brought about by hard work, creativity and practice sessions that sometimes lasted for 12 hours.

"It was a perfect storm of kids who wanted to do it and directors who had an amazing vision," said Hyder, who served as drum major for the award-winning band. "We were all there at the right time."

Hyder is one of many Hanover Area Marching Band alums — joined by former band parents and directors — who plan to celebrate the school's "Broadway on the Football Field" glory years of '93 to '96 during a 25th-anniversary reunion set for 4 to 9 p.m. June 8 at King's Restaurant, Route 309, Mountain Top.

"The band circuit was ridiculously competitive in those days, and we were the cream of the crop — not to be cocky," she said. "I remember practicing like crazy."

It wasn't just the kids who worked hard at music and choreography. Their parents worked hard at providing anything else they might need for a routine.

"Ed (Teleky, who arranged the music ), wanted a train horn, and we got one from a locomotive in a junkyard," one-time Band Boosters president Ron Shandorf, of Plains Township, recalled. "Ed said he wanted hand bells, so we borrowed them from a church and promised to polish them before we returned them."

"One year we released 250 homing pigeons."

When visual director Bobby Jones asked for props that looked like cottages and a temple to serve as a backdrop for a "Fiddler on the Roof" routine, the parents built it. When Jones asked for a portable bridge so the musicians could march over it and through its tunnel while performing "Rhapsody in Blue," they built that, too.

"I shot for the moon; I didn't know any better," Jones said in a telephone interview. "And they took pride in building those things. The kids and parents were the epitome of hard-working community spirit."

Pasty sales, craft sales and rent-a-kid for yard work services helped raise funds for plywood, lumber and metal, Shandorf said. "We would have two fund-raisers a month."

If a band member was having trouble with a routine, Jones remembered, "I would take them out of study hall for 45 minutes" of individual coaching.

And, as a group, Hyder said, the band spent hours at afterschool practices, weekend practices, and band camp.

The results? From 1993 to 1996, Hanover Area took first-place honors three times at the Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast Championships and second-place once.

Their award-winning routines, set to "West Side Story," "Rhapsody in Blue," "A Chorus Line" and "Fiddler on the Roof," included color guard, dancers and musicians who seemed to dance rather than march. Even the drum major's outfit fit the production numbers, with the young conductor dressed as a village peasant for "Fiddler on the Roof" or a 1920s-era flapper for "Rhapsody in Blue."

"We got that dress at Boscov's," Hyder said.

Jones, who was studying at Luzerne County Community College while coaching at Hanover Area, remembers the band's meteoric rise. "They were ranked 43rd," he said. "Then in 1992 when I wrote the show, they went from 43 to 17," he said. "Then in 1993 they won. It was huge for the community."

Barely out of high school himself at the time — he'd been part of the color guard at Lake-Lehman — Jones said he was grateful to Teleky and to band director Joe Baranoski. "I was growing up myself, and they were terrific mentors."

"I was super fortunate," drum major Hyder seconded the sentiment. "Ed Teleky trained me and he was the drum major for the U.S. Air Force Band. I was trained by the best of the best."

After their time at Hanover Area, Teleky and Jones were both inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 2016.

Reservations for the reunion will close June 1. They can be made by messaging Amber Hyder through her Facebook page or contacting Shandorf at Ron @Shandorf.com or 610-462-8476. Admission is $16 for adults, $8 for ages 6 to 12 and free for children younger than 6.

Hanover Area Marching Band alum Matthew Cannavale and his father, former Band Boosters president Ron Shandorf, look over memorabilia they will bring to a June 8 reunion, planned for members and friends of Hanover Area's award-winning marching band of the 1990s. Cannavale's sister, Andrea, and brother, Tony, are also alumni of the band.
Ron Shandorf has a collection of photos from 1993 to 1996, when the Hanover Area Marching Band took first place honors in Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast Championship competitions three times.

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