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The experince I had in my short time there, gave the strenght to take on the world. I was a lost soul when interduced to the family. But I was taken in and accepted. I just remember the dedication and the hard work. All of the wins during the summer tour and the "bus rides"!!!
- Dawn Renee (Rabish) Spear

Hanging and playing music with buds Teddy Chagoya, Mike Isaman, Gerardo Flores, and all the color guard girls!
- Rollie Arbolante

Loved the weekend camps!
- Annelise McCreery Martinez

Let's see, going swimming with "the staff" while the band slept. A bus break down at 12am, switching busses, getting in at 3am, waking up at 6am to paint the field with swarms of knee-high bugs, that was pretty intense. ('94)

Every band winning at their homeshow in 94 I believe. That was some good judging, hehe.

Watching Dave Watrous vault over a log in hand-made leather mokasins, jeans and a tie-dye T-shirt as he approached the other DMs to receive awards (91).

I think 1990 was the most amazing year for me (my rookie year). Mr. Hawkins (sorry old habits die hard) had come back, there was a wide range of diversity in every sense, and the sax line had that amazing riff in Frankenstein. I remember coming late to my the first band camp with a Taco-Bell cup. I remember our homeshow, which we won! I remember the phone call a month or so after finals when Brad asked me to try out for assistant DM. Changed my life.
- Tue Rust

Gummy bears on the windows of the bus! West Edmonton Mall....Tigers and sharks and rides Oh MY! "96!" oops that's right they gave us over 100...!!?
Good people, good friends, teamwork and hard work!
- "KC" Kathy Crawford a.k.a. Casey Crawford

Fun trip to Canada. Playing at the King Dome was great, unfortunately, the King Dome is now gone..
- Melinda (Reschke) Davis

I loved the 40s show and dancing with my favorite horn player, Jason. Every time I hear 20th Century Fox's opening music I think of band days. What fun. Tracy Tree Branch where are you? What are you doing? Jolly Ched.
- Joelle (Phillips) Baranowski

Such great music, such great friends, such great FUN!!
- Kathy (Jost) Benson

On a trip to Disneyland with Spirit, I became quite ill. I thought I had the flu, but Mr. Hawkins took me to the hospital as a precautionary measure. It turned out that I had appendicitis! I had surgery in the middle of the night in Fontana, CA, and missed YBI! The fondest memory of this whole ordeal was that many of the band members and staff made a tape recording with special messages and well wishes for me. Their thoughtfulness turned a pretty horrific experience into one of the nicest memories I have of Spirit.
- Kelly (Fueger) McAlister

Band camps at Peterson; being reprimanded for "fooling around"; the amazing trip to Seattle & Vancouver; Mr. Hawkins; being in the low brass--what a great group of guys!
- Susanna (Susy Wallace) Porter

Who could forget Animal? Who could forget switching out those ugly red and white uniforms?Who could ever forget the first ever Portland trip? Who invented liquid soap and why? Wheres that pizza that I ordered?
- Kevin HIll

I had fun and learned alot from the whole experience
- Ashley Donaldson

I will never forget the first practice that judy and shannon took me to... South Pacific. i knew the musical already and was amazed at how friendly everyone was; this was the beginning of my social life!! i marched two memorable seasons, and this was the basis for some of my deepest and most cherished friendships. not only that, spirit introduced me to drum corps and prepared me to march with santa clara vanguard (89-91). so many of you i have fallen out of touch with... i would love to hear from you again :) HAPPY CLUB!!
- Maria Romera

The Morselettes! Anyone remember? = )
- Michelle Beyda-Scott

Just that it started in spirit where I did not even know what a drum was which led me to end up in the SCV and then Bluedevils snarelines.....looking back it was fun...would have done a few things different but now as time goes by......i wish i had taken the time to really enjoy the experience.....hope the spirit comes back someday.
- David Walters

Hi folks. I was in Spirit for just the year with the 40's show (1985 I think), and although I never threw myself into it, I loved the music. Since I was only slightly involved in Spirit, I don't have much to say that will be relevant to ya'll--the reason I'm writing is mostly just to express my gratitude for the experience of being in Spirit. I still have tapes of some shows and listen to them occasionally just as I'd listen to anything else. I'm sure my friends think I'm weird when they stop by and I have marching band music playing.

The first time I heard Spirit, I think Brent Nelson had brought me to an event to try enlisting me. On the way to the event I had no interest whatsoever, but dag nabbit there isn't a human being alive who could resist after the previous year's band played Jerusalem.

My story to share: Partway through the year after joining Spirit, my grades at Sunnyvale Junior High were waning. My mom contacted Brad Hawkins to say she was considering pulling me out of Spirit and Mr. Hawkins invited her to a practice where she could see the band and discuss my options. After seeing the band practice that day, she came home thinking about pulling me out of school for the year to avoid impacting my performance in Spirit.

Finally, the one thing I really want to say is thank you to Brad Hawkins. I hope you realize what a wonderful and influential experience you created, multiplied across hundreds of lives.
- Brent Miller

Waking up during band camp on a saturday finding out how allergic to poison oak I was :(
- Ben Nunes

A few memories for you...
1986 - Expo 86...one really short parade and then two free days there! Also...Mavericks going to Taco Bell instead of staying at the standstill competition...beating all the drum corps (Cavaliers, Suncoast Sound, Troopers) in High Brass

1986 & 1987 - Burns, Wyoming and the millions of roaches...everywhere you stepped, you heard Crunch! Crunch! Crunch! One year was bad enough there, but we went back for a second year...must have been REALLY cheap housing! Also in 1987...the perennial last-place Clarinet section winning the first Sectional Drill competition, shocking the rest of the band!

1988 - Start of the season...the show theme was to be Phantom of the Opera...shortly after, Brad left, John Steinwinder became director, and the show theme became Dvorak's 9th Symphony.

1989 - Rodeo performance in Canada...only three people in the stands...I can understand performing at these places for visibility, but there were only three people there!

1990 - Start of the season...membership dropped from 44 to 14 people...John Steinwinder was back again as director after Jeff Pearson resigned, and the show theme was Beethoven's 5th Symphony...we only had a few rehearsals of the first movement in December and January, then it looked like Spirit was going to fold...shortly after, John left, Brad became director again...the rest of the season can only be described as "The Second Coming" of Spirit...membership grew from 14 to 70 members, and the show theme changed to the 10th Anniversary show with "March of the Second Coming" as the opener! Too appropriate given the circumstances! The vast majority of members who joined that season stayed in Spirit and membership increased to around 100 people for the 1991 and 1992 seasons.

1991 - Seattle Seafair parade...one really long parade that went right through the Kingdome...we marched across the whole field as many thousands of people in the stands cheered!

1992 - Final rehearsal and show...final rehearsal at Mt. Rainier...the vast majority of the band did that final rehearsal in the underwear, somewhat reminiscent of years before where everybody would put on as many clothes as they could for the final rehearsal. Final show...great final performance, then after the show, Spirit and Sound Machine did a combined standstill performance. The two bands were intermixed, with Spirit and Sound Machine members standing side by side. They performed their show, then we performed our show, then I think we did some combined playing. A great memory for my final performance with Spirit.
- Mickey Helms

I joined Spirit of Sunnyvale in 1994 because Todd Oliver could talk of nothing else so I had to see what the fuss was all about. Needless to say, I was hooked. I was a member of Spirit until it folded in mid-1998. It was a very big part of my life and because of the time and effort that the staff spent teaching me how to march, I probably wouldn’t have survived high school marching band.

These are just a couple of things that I remember about my experiences in the organization. I got my first and worst of many bad sunburns at the Memorial Day Camp in '94 (thank you to Betsy for all of the Noxema cream and Aloe); going to Knott’s Berry Farm and bringing back a stuffed animal named Roscoe; Elmo hanging barney up by a noose in the baggage compartment of the bus; Betsy saving our necks in ’95 by becoming our very last minute drum major; the woodwind section never getting along; Shawn’s foot tapping in unbelief as my hair was falling into a garbage can the night before we left Colorado; and being the only band with no drum major and no color guard for two years in a row and still kicking butt!

As of now, I am currently attending West Valley Community College in Saratoga and studying to become a court reporter. My goal is to hopefully have an AS Degree in court reporting in the next six years. I have no job at the moment, like many other people, though not for lack of trying to find one. I don’t really see very many Spirit people these days, except for Todd and some various other people at local DCI shows. Thanks for all of the good times and great memories.
- LizBeth Jenson

DUDE..DUDE...DEVIN.DUDE..............
- Greg "BUBBA" Thomas
Best tour was 1989 to Expo in Canada and out to Wyoming. In think it was about 20 day and aprox. 4000 miles.
- Domenic Carrieri
Spirit brings back fond memories of fun, travel and good friends. What a blast it was. I remember the long bus rides practicing with our mouth pieces only (I need to break that thing out and do some scales...) what a fun time that was. and playing Jerusalem in the rain in Canada was absolutely an incredible time! I STILL get goose bumps. .... there .... right now...cool there is so many great memories of Spirit, I can't even go through them all.. (So I won't...)
- Jeff Pokorny
Too many to mention, and too much information would have to be changed for legal reasons! I'll never forget Mike Klein and Bill Crain coming up with the name "Squeegee". Some of you may remember, but looks like no one remembers here on the Web page. I've been forgotten by history! Maybe that's a good thing. I'm looking forward to hearing from you soon.
- Mike Carrieri, 1984-1989
Spirit of Sunnyvale was my whole life from the time that I was a shy, quiet 7th grader until I graduated high school an outgoing, boisterous 17 year old! I learned, experienced and enjoyed my huge serrogate family while I grew up with all of you! I miss my second mom & dad, Jim and June Wheeler, known to me as Bratman and Mrs. Peep. June Wheeler has passed away and I beleive Jim moved to Northern California somewhere. I have lost track of almost everybody except of course my lifelong best friend Teddy Chagoya-who still lives around the corner from my mom's. I want to hear from Jim Nordin, Paul Wheeler, Frank Alvarez, Mr. Hawkins, Steve Sears, Brenda Algers, Bill ??(tuba),Dave ??(mellophone), Susy Wallace and so many more than I can name. I have seen Rick Weger, who is in Santa Clara and was studying for a Sargent exam in the San Jose Police Dept. He had just come back from the East Coast where he's been an FBI agent. I am a preschool teacher in Santa Clara and get paid to play all day and be the center of attention. My husband is rebuilding our home in San Jose (We have been together since I left Spirit at 17 yrs.old)I have a very opinionated daughter that speaks almost more than I do!
- Kathy (Valdez) Ennis
Listening to Dave Watrous tell the infamous Medford story. Going nuts in Seattle with Brian "Red Dog" Hopkins, Derek Hopkins, Claus Ulander, Jason Hakes, etc...Tour bus taking off while Brian and I were in the restroom and having to cruise with a parent for a while. Just good times in general. I now live in San Francisco, work for the SF Bay Guardian, and play drums for The Junior Panthers...we'll be doing a tour of our own in the Spring please come by and say hello www.juniorpanthers.com . Hope to hear from some old friends soon...cheers.
- Raul Sanchez
The years I spent in Spirt of Sunnyvale were some of the most memorable times of my life. I will always remember the friendships that I made during that time.
- Angela Daline
Funny Memory: I remember almost getting suspended for spilling hot chocolate powder. Before having a virtual nervous breakdown (not my fault) she let loose on me for not cleaning it up fast enough, and told Brad. I'm not sure what she said to him, but it wasn't good. Luckily it was my birthday, and my mom brought cupcakes. I think the food calmed down everyone. But a slideline...I still won't make hot chocolate. :) Another memory...Being the only Clarinet player in 1993. 12 giddy flutists and me, a 6'3" Bass Clarinet player. That was the hardest year of my life.
- Todd Oliver

Do you remember in 84 when somebody kept writing these anonymous poems and putting them on a bulletin board or something and Hawkins would read them to us? I think it was somewhere in Canada that we stayed for a couple of days that had a hockey rink.
- Thor John Strombom

Loved the long trips on the school buses and band camps. My favorite event was playing in the King Dome. The sound was incredible!
-Mariann Tonder-Laukaitis
Remember the rain storm in Canada and playing Jeruselum during it. The color guard was all hudled up in the equipment truck and I could hear the music being played even with the pouring rain and the rumbling of thunder. It seemed like the cymbal's crashed when the lightening and thunder did. I remember Zoe's painting of the Pope and it was soon stuck in the bus bathroom (for some reason unknown to me). One of the schools we stayed at was infested with cockroaches.
- Ginger Ellis
I HAVE ALOT. I REMEMBER THE MEDFOIRD TRIP AND I MEAN TRIP LITERALLY. I REMEMBER PICKING JON UP AT HIS HOME THE DAY HE WAS LATE TO A PARADE. I REMEMBER TRINO AND CHRIS AND RICHARD ARMSTRONG. I REMEMBER LOTS OF PEOPLE. WHERE IS LORI JACOBSON? f.t.j. and the famous canada trip. tell me what really did happen in medford i will never forget that eerie trip. ask me i know it all. hahaha. Angie mann all the gang i miss you all.
-Michelle (Cayot) Reis
Sam Alger throwing up after Forrest Knowlton asked her to be his "steady". That was soemthing!
- Gina (Corso) Cross
Whipping Santa Ana's butts in May, 1984!
- Kirsten Larson
The trip to Canada was a blast and band camp at Sunyvale High School made for some very memorable times. If I recall, there was a condom scandal and a little hanky panky in a locker room on the trip. What ever happend to Ron Pac, Trino Benetiz, or Doug (from the drum line).
- Stoney Meagher
1982 Somewhere in Washington, when the fine young gentlemen and ladies of the drumline duct-tape me to the floor of the gym while asleep.
- Dean Golden

Dean, I would like to say I am sorry for duc tapping you to the floor. It was really funny at the time. I do remember having to march in place for a long along with my fellow drum line friends at some odd hour of the night. Brad was really ticked off. I know the drum line has pulled many more pranks than this one.
Anyone from the drum line like to share some of their pranks?
- Stoney Meagher

The tuba players in '86 were John Culbertson, Paul Bautista, George Hinman, and Me. I don't know if you remeber but Brad called me Ringo and the section was called the Beatles.
- Thor John Strombom
A bunch,but to long to tell about--It was the Dave Gary Era and we won Championships that year with only 32 people!! We marched hard and played great!!Bartok 97'!!!
- Alan Hopkins
My name is Kevin Creighton, i was the tour bus driver, one of them for the South Pacific Show in 87. I have a few rolls of film to dig out from my archives here to share with you folks. Trips to Colorado, San Diego, blowing up Brads Car etc...(big Mistake). Squashing 3 inch bugs in Burns Wyoming etc.. Teach Laura ( color guard instructor how to drive a bus on back roads etc...)
Other drivers were Fred Gillespie and Ernie Medal. We also went to oregon , washington later that year I believe... Names like Kenny, Debbie, etc all have memories...Fun time... Had the best trips driving with you folks when we did Drums Across the rockies...
- Kevin Creighton
One of my favorite memories in Spirit was the travelling. Seeing places I'd never been to before. It was wonderful to see many new places and meet people from far away who were in other bands. I think these things will always stick in my mind. I wish I could rewind 10 years back, because I'd be back in the summer of 91 and I would be getting ready to join Spirit Of Sunnyvale. Ahhhh, those were the days.
- Tim Foley
I wasn't in Spirit very long due to other commitments, but I wished I had stayed longer. I remember the Canada trip was a blast, and telling people we played at the Seattle Super Dome is pretty neat! I remember the Saturday morning practices, around and around and around the field track!
- Melinda (Reschke) Davis
In my only season of Spirit, back in '92, the more memorable experiences was when the bus broke down and being stuck in "BFE" for hours at a time. During then was when we'd gossip and say how "It totally sucked to be be stuck in 'BFE' right now!" What's worse was that even on a few occasions, we had to freakin' push-start those darn things!
- James Floro
They were the best of times, they were the worst of times...
Sometimes I wonder how Brad put up with us. I remember Stoney bangin´ away on those triple toms. I remember the guy being taped to the floor. It was funny as hell(then). I´m sorry for the guy who was taped up, I was then too. Thanks to Brad for all the help. You´ll never know how much.
- John Eicholtz
Lots and Lots of Laughs and a Lifetime of Memories and Life long Friends.
-Kari (Fukumoto) El Amir
Being in Spirit was the best time I had in my teenage years. I have so many great memories of the people, places and shows.
- Amy (Hammett) Gates
Giving Mr. Hawkins the band mascot.... The Duck. Actually it was my pet duck, Afro. I could no longer keep him and someone gave me this crazy idea to give him to Mr. Hawkins. I think it was Maria Horn...... =)
- Marian (Evangelista) Fojas
I'm I the only one who still laughs when "Frankinstein" is played on the radio?
- Andrea Hasbrouck
There are so many memories!! Who could forget Hot Dog Surprise and the taco salads before our fieldshows!?! I remember the flute section trying to win the sectional drills and music reviews at bandcamps! Spending a few Saturdays trying to pass Mr. Hawkins' Music Basic Exam, so I could get back to our practice. Playing "Somewhere" until we cried! The old super hot winter uniforms and the great silk shirts for summer (with red plumes). Going on tour in an accordian bus, and being afraid we would fall off of the cliffs. The "fun" Klondike Days Parade and the people changing the route as we were marching it. Bus surfing, drill downs, a Christmas dance with a live band. FINALLY BEATING THE SANTA ANA WINDS!! Numerous trips to Canada and other different places I had never seen before. Brenda Ellis and I always being the shortest members. "Spirit" was such a great thing for me, I met so many people and went to so many great places. I really miss it!
- Cheryl (Chapman) Pilkerton
Too many to name! Had a blast! Huge part of my life!
- Tracy (Battino) Rabasco
I remember when Lionel Richie conducted the band. Well, actually that never happened. But, wouldn't it had been funny if it did?
- Lee Rudnicki
Too too many, had a great time marching and instructing...yeah, going from one top section to the other top section of the band!!!! :)
- Teddy Chagoya
I only remember my solo at the beginning and end of the Abyss in 95. I think I can still play it.
- Philip Katz
Ghosts in the Gym. Spooky!
- David Cantey
Too Many! Almost sent home: no one was sent home from canada. It was rob buckley and I, always in trouble. We must have talked our way out of it. What beautiful memories. the older I get the better I was. I'll fill in the details later. I remember almost every name on these lists clearly. Do you remember me?
- John Tervol

1992-93
I would like to add some info about 1992. We started off the season in 2nd place. At our 4th show in Stockton Ca, we went down to third place and remained there all season long. My favorite performance of the year was in Kelso/Longview Wa, when it poured and poured during our performance. Everybody's senses were heightened as they focused on not slipping on the astroturf field we were playing on. I believe our final score for the year was around 87.

Here is the staff as I remember it.
Director: Rich Alipaz
Percussion Staff: Dave Sankus, Jonathan Pantoja, Arlene Kayuga.
Music & Marching: Gary Butera, John Meng, Mario Blandini.

We had 86 members that year.

The band pulled off one hell of a performance at finals, to the point where the drumline was quietly cheering a "smoked" performance during the march off. At finals, the entire drumline had "Blue Devils" shirts on underneath our uniforms. Percussion director Dave Sankus said "It must be the shirts" after the show, remarking on how the drumline was solid and precise in it's performance at finals. After the show, Soundmachine did a concert for us, and we did a concert for them. At one camp in Oregon, we shared the same facility with The Imperials. They were in the gym next door to us. It was pretty strange having a competing bacnd right in the same building, and the now top 12 contendor Seattle Cascades were staying right across the street from us. On our return from tour 1 the bus carrying half the band broke down on the California side of the California / Oregon border. It took almost 4 hours for another bus to get to us.

That's about all I can call, er um, I mean Total Recall.
- Tim Foley

The times we had long road trips and everyone wanted to be on BUS #2. Colorguards RULE!
- Claire (Ramos) Garcia

I'll never forget practicing in Rainier WA in 1992 and watching the video that the staff made from the judges box. You could see us down on the fiels and Mt Rainier in the background. It was HUGE. We were very close to it. I also remember Mario Blandini saying that he wanted to hear us play so loud that we would blow the top off of the Mountain. That was also the site where we did our final run through for the 1992 season.
- Tim Foley

 


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