RPI Pep Band (and Friends) Alumni Newsletter
Volume 4, Issue 4








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In This Issue:


Hockey Season Is Here! So what does that mean? It's the start of a brand new era for RPI hockey, combined with both new and long running events at which alumni gather. Add in a summer of personal happenings, anticipation of on-ice events, and the approaching start of our fifth year of alumni mania, and you've got yourself a newsletter!

Excitement Grows for Men's Hockey

Although the RPI Engineers do not come into the 2006-07 season with a great deal of expectation on the outside as far as impact is concerned, it is clear that RPI students, alumni, and fans are very excited about the prospects of the team for the upcoming season. Ticket sales for the season are reported to be higher than anything experienced thus far in the 2000s, including both student and season ticket sales. In addition, single game tickets for certain games are reported to be hard to come by.

Most of the excitement focuses on the addition of Seth Appert to the program as the 9th head coach in the modern era of Engineer Hockey. Appert’s arrival has seemingly infused the program with life and hope for the future despite most pundits predicting RPI to be either one of the lower first round home seeds or in the bottom four of the ECACHL this season.

Reaction to Appert’s hiring has been overwhelmingly positive on all fronts, and although he may not bring the Engineers back to glory in his first season, it is fully expected that he will bring the team back to respectability in the near future. With a new, young coach at the helm, expect the pundits and fans alike to be more patient, yet more hopeful than they were over the last several seasons under Dan Fridgen.

Returning to the team this season is captain Kirk MacDonald, who missed all of last year while recovering from his treatment (which was successful) for testicular cancer. Forward Kevin Broad will be the assistant captain and returns his tough, chippy play up top. The defensive corps is the big question for RPI, which returns only two seniors (Jake Luthi and Ryan Swanson) and one sophomore (Reed Kipp) on the blueline. If freshmen Erik Burgdoerfer, Christian Jensen, Jason Fortino, Peter Merth, and Garrett Vassel can step up immediately, the Engineers’ fortunes will be significantly better than what everyone has been predicting.

The excitement officially kicks off in mid-October when the traditional first-game against Boston University returns to Troy. The Terriers, always among the best in the nation, should be out for revenge after RPI stole a victory in the first game between the two schools at BU’s new Agganis Arena last season.

The team then travels to Colorado to face Appert’s former team, the Denver Pioneers. RPI will be a big underdog in both games as the Pioneers have two national championship wins in the last three seasons, but they should help to steel the team for the ECACHL schedule, which begins two weeks later.

Black Friday this season is against Princeton on the 3rd of November, and Freakout! is early this season, against St. Lawrence on January 20th. Expected to be among the better teams in the ECACHL this year are Dartmouth, Colgate, Clarkson, and even Quinnipiac. Cornell and Harvard, the beasts of the league for several years, are expected to have “off” years compared to their recent fortunes. Princeton, Yale, and Brown should likely bring up the rear, and SLU and Union, like RPI, should finish somewhere in the muddled middle.

RPI’s All-Time Record against Non-Conference Opponents

  • Boston University – BU leads 32-27-2 (last game: 2005-06
  • Denver – DU leads 10-0-0 (last game: 1981-82)
  • Mass-Lowell – UML leads 10-9-1 (last game: 2005-06)
  • Merrimack – RPI leads 17-9-2 (last game: 2005-06)
  • Niagara – NU leads 2-1-0 (last game: 1999-2000)
  • Ohio State – Series tied 0-0-2 (last game: 1977-78)
  • Sacred Heart – Series tied 1-1-0 (last game: 2005-06)
  • St. Cloud State – RPI leads 4-2-0 (last game: 2003-04)
  • Vermont – RPI leads 32-29-7 (last game: 2004-05)

RPI’s Current ECACHL Streaks

  • Brown – Won two straight, last loss Mar. 2005
  • Clarkson – Unbeaten in last six games (5-0-1), last loss Feb. 2003
  • Colgate – Winless in last nine games (0-8-1), last win Mar. 2002
  • Cornell – Unbeaten in last two games (1-0-1), last loss Feb. 2005
  • Dartmouth – Lost six straight, last win Mar. 2004
  • Harvard – Lost last meeting, last win Jan. 2006
  • Princeton – Unbeaten in last two games (1-0-1), last loss Feb. 2005
  • Quinnipiac – Winless in last three games (0-2-1), last win Nov. 2005
  • St. Lawrence – Lost two straight, last win Jan. 2005
  • Union – Winless in last four games (0-3-1), last win Jan. 2004
  • Yale – Won last meeting, last loss Jan. 2006

After Promising First Season, Women's Hockey off to Rocky Start

The women's hockey team began it's second season in Division I Sept. 29 with a tough 2-1 loss at home to the tenth-ranked team in the nation, Boston College. Despite the loss, head coach John Burke feels it was a good experience and will only help RPI in the coming weeks as the Engineers gear up for their first ECACHL conference schedule.

With 14 ladies returning from last years squad, the women are looking to use a fabulous 18-6-2 record in its first Division I season to springboard right to the top of one of the toughest conferences in women's hockey. Leading the way for the Engineers up front is senior captain Sarah Daniel and sophomore Nicole McDonald. Daniel, a 2006 ESPN the Magazine National Academic All-America Women's University Division At-Large Third team selection, lead the team with 25 points last season. She scored 14 goals and had 11 assists. McDonald lead the team with 17 goals and eight assists to tie Daniel with 25 points.

On defense, junior Kelly Barbera and sophomore Melanie Guillemette lead a young but experienced back line. Barbera was a key figure for an RPI defense that allowed only 1.38 goals a game last season, posting one goal and six assists for seven points. Guillemette led the Engineer defenders in scoring with six goals and a team high 14 assists for 20 points. In goal, the Engineers return the sophomore duo of Emily Ford and Ashley Mayr. Both saw limited action last year behind arguably the best female goaltender to pass through RPI, Rosina Schiff. But despite the lack of play time, Ford (4-0-0, 1.24 GAA, .921 save %) and Mayr (5-2-1, 1.99 GAA, .913 save %) should take the experience from last year and build on it for this season.

Along with seven incoming freshman, the Engineers also are looking for big things from returning junior Julie Aho. Aho led the team in scoring in the 2004-2005 seasons with 22 goals and 13 assists for 35 points. She took last year off for a year-long co-op. I look forward to reporting on the women again this year for you. I also hope to see you all the weekend of Oct 13, for RPI Alumni Music Fest. It should be a great weekend of friends and hockey.


Football Season Starts Well, Takes Nosedive for Engineers

The season started well for the Engineers, even though their first two games were on the road. Convincing non-league wins over Endicott and Utica, 27-7 and 34-10 respectively, appeared to bode well for RPI. For their performances in the Utica game, Adam LoGiudice and Jay Bernardo were recognized by the Liberty League, and Bernardo was placed on the D3Football.com National Team of the Week. With the league schedule starting the following week, these two non-league games seemed to be the perfect preparation.

Hobart was the first game on the league slate, and although RPI won the battle of statistics, they couldn’t top the Statesmen in the battle of the scoreboard. The 24-17 setback was disheartening, but with plenty of games to go, all was not lost. The Engineers pointed to their one remaining non-league game against Becker for a rebound, and they got it in a big way. The 56-6 victory looked to put RPI back on track for another strong season. Unfortunately, as it often does in hockey, the road trip to the North Country proved to be most troublesome. RPI seemed to have the game in control against St. Lawrence, but a stunning 28-point fourth-quarter comeback by the Saints, propelled by an interception return for a touchdown, was the team’s downfall.

Now 0-2 in the Liberty League, and coming off of their bye week into the meat of the league schedule, RPI hopes to finish out the season strong. Trophy games with WPI and Union are still on tap, and both of those games will be played on the ’86 Field. Road games remain with the Merchant Marine Academy and the University of Rochester. If they’re able to win out the remainder of the season, a 7-2 record may be enough to get them into the postseason for the 6th time in the past 8 years. However, an NCAA bid seems out of the Engineers’ grasp this year.


PBAN4 - Music Alumni Weekend

This past weekend was a first for RPI - a reunion specifically for members of the various music groups. While a majority of the alums present were from the 1950's, there was a significant representation of more recent alums. Let me tell you, these folks could sing. Friday night's festivities included a trip through the old song books. Saturday included the usual Pep Band rehearsal, along with a music alumni rehearsal and jam session. At the game, the music alumni sang a wonderful rendition of both anthems, with the Star Spangled Banner accompanied by the Pep Band.

Plans are already underway for a second Music Alumni event, tentatively scheduled to occur around the time that EMPAC opens up. The alumni house would like to thank everyone that participated and hopes that the turnout will be even better when the next one comes around.


Planning for Freakout 2007

Since Freakout is early this year, we've had to start all of our Freakout planning early as well. First off, Freakout takes place on January 20th, 2007 against St. Lawrence University.

5th Annual Pre-Freakout Breakfast - Latham 76 Diner - 9:00am
Why mess with success? Despite the fact that many of us can barely keep our eyes open at 9am on a Saturday, breakfast always seems to be well attended. So with that in mind we'll continue our tradition of starting the day at Latham 76 Diner.

Pep Band Rehearsal - West Hall 326 - 10:30am
Warm-up time! This will be our opportunity to meet and greet with the current band, learn some new music, and generally relax before the rest of the day's festivities. Rehearsal normally lasts 'till 12:30pm.

Hockey Alumni Game - Houston Fieldhouse - 12:00pm
This is an annual tradition for alumni of the men's hockey team. Many old favorites will attend, as well as some of the newer alums that may not be playing professionally. It's a fun game to watch and will certainly bring back memories. This event is free to the public.

Alumni Lasagna Dinner - Conte Residence (1584 Tibbits Ave) - 3:15pm
Brendan Conte '02 and loveable hostess Sarah Bennet have again decided to fatten us up at their home. If you attended last year's events, you know the kind of spread the two of them can put out. There is no cover, but donations will not be turned away. Plan on heading to the field house between 5:30 and 6. Directions are listed below.

Freakout 2007 vs St. Lawrence! - Houston Fieldhouse - 6:15pm
The first Freakout of the Appert era begins. Be sure to get there early as parking will be a challenge. Conductors wishing to take a turn on the podium should let conductor Dan know (and can let us know when they RSVP). The game will most likely be followed by broomball/ice soccer/kick-the-stuffed-animal-around-the-ice-while-trying-not-to-fall-and-break-anything.

After Party! - Conte Residence (1584 Tibbits Ave) - 9:45pm
Once you've screamed yourself horse (oh wait, that's me), head back to the Conte residence for drinks, party food, and deserts. Again, there is no cover, but donations will not be turned away.

Other Assorted Information

Please RSVP no later than 1/12/07. To RSVP , simply go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RPI_Pep_Band_Alumni/surveys?id=2077323 Here you can indicate what events you'll be attending, if you want in on the group ticket purchase, if you need to borrow an instrument, and if you're a conductor that wants a turn on the podium.

There will be another group purchase of tickets. However details for this have not yet been worked out.

If you are not purchasing tickets as part of the group, a block of 75 tickets has been reserved for Pep Band Alumni through the fieldhouse. This block will be released to the general public at 5:00pm on 1/12/07. Pep Band alumni will need to contact the Houston Field House Box Office directly at (518) 276-6262 to purchase tickets. Be sure to indicate that you are a "Pep Band Alumnus." Cash and Visa or MasterCard sales will be permitted. There is a $3.00 handling fee for credit card purchases. Tickets will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, and can be picked up at the Houston Field House Will Call Window or if time allows (10 days minimum) the tickets can be mailed.

Directions To The Conte Residence
Coming from the field house, take a left at the light onto Burdett Ave. Burdett will dead end into Tibbits. Take a Right onto Tibbits and it's the second house on the right (look for the blue Mini in the driveway).

Be sure to sign up for the online Photo Gallery so you can share your Freakout pictures. This will be much easier than what was tried in the past.



Life Updates

The last couple of months have been very busy for various members of the Pep Band Alumni family. We've gotten several e-mails with news that we'd like to share with everyone.

To start off, in June James Lauser '05 popped the question to ex-conductress Sarah "Arrr, Save Erin" Toner '06. This is just one event in a busy series for the couple, as both have just started new jobs as well. No date has been set.

Also getting set to march down the ailse is long-time trombone and trouble maker Jacob Berry '00. After taking his girlfriend Jessica Leone '06 on a walk up Thatcher Park, Jake surprised her with the question with the usual anticipated results. The couple is looking at an August wedding.

Yet another couple will be tying the knot this weekend, as Sousaphone Spinmaster Karen Landry '03 marries Charlie Hayden. The ceremony will be held in New Hampshire.

More happy news comes from VIctoria "How do you do a Vicki?" Myers who was married in August. Also recently announced, ex-manager Jennifer (Bernfeld) Miller '02 got a new job, found out she's expecting, and found out she's moving to England all within a couple of weeks.

If you have a life update you'd like to share,please e-mail us at pepband@rpipepbandalumni.org.


From The Managers

Hello Alumni!

Hockey and football are both getting into full swing, and with that so is the band! It looks to be a busy schedule this year as we attempt to balance playing both men’s and women’s home games as well as the odd football game here and there – with 3 road trips, a tournament at Pepsi Arena, and two trips to Union thrown in for good measure.

After Family Weekend and PBAN4, our next big event is the Governor’s Cup at the Pepsi Arena on October 28/29, which the entire band has been invited to free of charge courtesy of the Pepsi’s GM. As such, if any of you are in the area and want to dig out an instrument and shirt and get in for free, let us know and we’ll keep you up to date on the details as the tournament approaches.

Besides that, we have two trips between now and winter break – we’ll be traveling to Quinnipiac with the women’s team on November 10th and Union (also with the women) on December 9, just before finals kick in. Also mark November 11 on your calendar as our football team faces Union at home on the ’86 field.

In other news, recruiting went pretty well this semester, and we’re glad to actually have a real percussion section now! It’s a nice change to have to tell the percussion to quiet down so we can hear ourselves play during rehearsals. Music is coming along nicely and we’ve started pulling out some songs that haven’t been touched in quite a while, and best of all, they’re actually sounding pretty good!

Ken Ralph is still working with the Athletic Department to find funding to get the stage raised – he can’t make any promises yet but he’s definitely trying. His hope is to eventually take down the current stage and replace it with a permanent structure that puts us further over the top of the glass and also has storage underneath that we would split with the Field House. Not a small project by any means, but one with awesome potential if it can actually be managed.

That’s about it for now. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, email us at pepband@rpi.edu.

Gary & Chris


Final Notes

So, to recap:

  • Pepsi Arena has offered free tickets to any pep band member or alum who wishes to attend the Governor's Cup ECACHL tournament. If interested, be sure to contact pepband@rpi.edu TODAY.
  • Freakout will be early this year, taking place 1/20/07. Be sure to RSVP at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RPI_Pep_Band_Alumni/surveys?id=2077323
  • Want to get involved in making RPI Pep Band Alumni (and Friends) a success? If so, be sure to e-mail Chris at farrar@azhrei.net.
  • Be sure to take a look at the Message Boards and Photo Gallery! Both can be accessed using the same account. To sign up, check out the instructions in the files section of the Yahoo Group.
  • Speaking of photos, we have no photos from the 2000 and 1999 Freakouts! If you have any, please post them to the Photo Gallery.
  • Please send any other ideas/comments/suggestions/whatever to Chris and Terry at pepband@rpipepbandalumni.org.
Next issue: FREAKOUT! Plus, more on both hockey teams, the football recap, and the start of RPIPBA(aF) Year 5!