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Band will blow its own horns again

July 10, 2012|By Joyce Rudolph
  • Burbank resident Delia Akbari received the Teresa Del Rio Memorial Scholarship at the Glendale Community College Honors and Awards Banquet in June at the Castaway Restaurant.
Burbank resident Delia Akbari received the Teresa Del… (Photo by Joyce Rudolph )

My brother and I were the best of friends when we were in elementary school in Burbank during the mid 1960s. But that changed after I started Muir Middle School and went on to Burbank High School in the '70s. We barely saw one another, even though the doors to our rooms were 12 feet apart.

Little did I know that while I was getting involved with the high school drill team, he had joined a boys' marching band in town. One day a friend called looking for my brother and my mother said he was on a band trip in Minnesota with the Burbank Police Boys Band. When he returned, he was bubbling over with excitement about the adventures they had had.

After I started driving, I took him to band practice on Monday nights and sometimes stayed to listen. I felt right at home because the band director was Bill Kuzma, the director of the high school band. The mutual love of marching music had brought my brother and I back together.

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Close to 30 of us will be reunited Saturday night at the Police Boys Band reunion. It is organized by Kuzma and majorette Joanne Lento Miller. There'll be reminiscing about the adult leaders over the years, the trips, friendships and romances, and at the end of the evening, members will pull out their musical instruments and play the band's unofficial theme song, “South Rampart Street Parade.”

Kuzma has put together a slide show chronicling the band's history since its inception in 1953 that will chronicle its evolution into the Burbank Police Youth Band. Accompanying the slide show will be music the band recorded at many of its anniversary concerts. Selections range from traditional marches to contemporary songs like “The Stripper” and “Tommy,” from Peter Townshend's rock opera of the same name and, of course, the band's signature piece, “South Rampart Street Parade,” arranged especially for the band by trumpeter Art DePew, who was a member of the Lawrence Welk Orchestra.

The band is very fortunate to have photographs provided by Cregan Marmont, one of the band's charter members, Kuzma said.

“The slide show also includes pictures and materials from many of the band's performances throughout California and the western United States, including one for President Gerald Ford. It is hoped that this will bring back many great memories for members, as well as honor the band's outstanding history as the Musical Ambassadors for the city of Burbank,” he said.

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