Dean Kendall and '61 Russian Tour member Charlie Martin
Michigan Marching Band with Director Scott Boerma conductingDave Walter addresses guests at alumni evenAlumni at Michigan LeagueBand-o-rama'61 alumni Jim Meretta and Dick Kruse playing at Michigan Stadium

Alumni Society

Reunion 2011

The 2011 Reunion Weekend was a tremendous success, bringing back many members of the class of 1961 along with alumni from the '60s through the '00s. The SMTD reunion was an especially exciting one as it celebrated the golden anniversary of the 1961 University Symphony Band Tour of Russia, reuniting many members of an ensemble that made history when it toured the former U.S.S.R, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East for 15 weeks at the height of the Cold War.

 

Homecoming weekend included a dinner celebration for members of the Russia Band Tour, held at the Michigan Union, and a reception that brought together the 1961 tour members with the University Symphony Band 2011 China tour members. This was followed by a standing-room-only panel discussion titled “Cracks in the Wall: U-M Cultural Diplomacy and the Cold War.” 

 

Later that day, Alumni Society Awards were bestowed at a wine and cheese reception with remarks by Dean Christopher Kendall and David Eisler, alumni society chair, and the Russia Band Tour members were inducted into the SMTD Hall of Fame. The triumphant Band-o-rama Concert, featuring the U-M Marching Band storming Hill Auditorium with “The Victors,” immediately followed the reception. This concert was open to all U-M alumni celebrating their 50th reunion and yet again brought SMTD into the spotlight.

 

Finally, the 1961 Russia Tour participants were honored at the Big House, during the homecoming game half time, by taking the field to play alongside former and current marching band members. It was an exhilarating moment in a weekend packed with memories.

 

Look to the spring issue of Michigan Muse for information on the 2012 reunion, which we are already eagerly anticipating, scheduled for October 11--14, 2012.