By Lori Catlin Garcia
Members of the Marquis of Granby Jr. Ancient Fyfe and Drum Corps gathered on January 9 in Cook Hall at the First Congregational Church to celebrate their 46th season. The corps opened the evening by playing a short concert to a gathered crowd of over 120 attendees, including family members, instructors and past directors. After a delicious dinner, Michael Spence and A.J. Newman presented a video highlighting memorable moments of the 2015 season. It was also announced that 2016 summer trip will be performing and touring near Bennington, Vermont.
Awards and promotions followed and began with the following rank promotions: Marching Recruit – Nate Abrahamson, Alexandra Camilleri, Allison Christensen, Alice Crotty. Private (Flag Line) – Ryan Fett and Katrina McCord. Private (Playing Line) – Katherine Benoit, Evelyn Brooke, Shannon McCord. Corporal - Lizzy Cappelli, Layne Cramer, Nick Rondeau. Sergeant – Brittany Janzer and Dawson Levine. Sergeant Major– Jessica Askew, Noah Greer, Rebecca Kaczmarek, Rebecca McCord, Helen Newman, A. J. Newman. It should be noted that all three of the playing line Bass Drummers (Michael Spence, Noah Greer and A.J. Newman) achieved the rank of Private as snare drummers.
The highest rank a member can achieve during their years of service in the Marquis of Granby is the rank of Major. Current Majors for the corps are Jonah Garcia, Ivy Nguyen, Casey Lampert and Michael Spence. It was announced that a new Major training class will begin in February.
Several members reached important service milestones. Rachel Abrahamson, Jessica Askew, Chatman Elliott, Brittany Janzer and Layne Cramer received pewter mugs for five years of service. Juliana Puskar received a pewter plate for seven years of service, and Ivy Nguyen, Casey Lampert and Jonah Garcia received pewter bowls to commemorate ten years with the Corps.
In 2014 the Marquis performed at 24 separate venues and the corps recognized its members with an exemplary attendance rate. Corps members with an attendance rate of above 90 percent were acknowledged: Sam Askew, Lizzy Cappelli, Rebecca Kaczmarek, Noah Greer, Casey Lampert and Ivy Nguyen. Members with extraordinary attendance records receive their choice of a credit to their travel account, or a scholarship to fyfe and drum camp. In addition, Jessica Askew, Chatman Elliott, Alyssa Groneman, Brittany Janzer, Shannon Leydon, Rebecca McCord, Katrina McCord, AJ Newman, Keith Seger and Juliana Puskar were recognized for attendance above 80 percent. A special parent recognition award was given to Tina Newman.
Awards were also presented for accomplishments in other areas, which included Most Improved Marcher—Grace Darling (Recruit) and Lizzy Cappelli (Playing Line); Most Improved Fyfer—Allison Christensen (Beginner) and Brittany Janzer (Playing Line). Most Improved Beginner Snare Drummers—Patrick Leydon and Bryce Tomasino. Most Improved Beginner Bass Drummer—Brayden Mandeville. Instructor Jim Clark did not give an individual Playing Line Drummer Award this year, but instead spoke of the current extraordinary group as a whole.
For the fifth time, the Jacky Award was given to honor the memory of Jacky Welsh, a Marquis member from East Granby who died in August of 2011. This award is voted on by the corps members and given to the person or persons who best exemplify the words used to describe Jacky such as: smart, witty, engaged, mature, confident, passionate, dedicated, quiet, respectful, considerate, caring and brave. This year’s recipient was Jessica Askew.
The recipient of the Knight of Knipton award is also chosen by corps member vote, and is given to the new member who best exemplifies the corps values of a great attitude, overall contributions and willingness to act as an “Ambassador of the Corps.” The 2015 recipient was Shannon McCord. In addition, the Marquis membership voted on Junior Board Members. This year’s elected representatives will be Jonah Garcia, Jessica Askew, A. J. Newman and Noah Greer.
The Marquis Director’s Award for 2015 went to Ivy Nguyen. Ivy was recognized for exceptional dedication to the corps, attendance, ability to make fast, confident decisions, and for her many years of service as a fantastic role model and mentor for younger members.
The final award presented was the Marquis Peacock Award, which recognizes long-standing commitment and support for the Marquis by an individual or organization in the community. This year’s recipient was long-time snare drum instructor Paul Cormier.
The Marquis is generously supported by the community through donations to the Granby Community Fund. Membership in the Marquis of Granby Ancient Fyfe and Drum Corps is open to youth ages 9-21 from Granby and the surrounding towns. The corps will be hosting a recruitment night in March, and prospective members are always welcome to attend a practice at the First Congregational Church on Wednesday evenings. For more information, visit www.marquisofgranby.org.