August 2008


Welcome to the latest edition of the FVPB e-CSRU, your source for Virginia Pep Band and Alumni news, notes, and more! Please email you comments and news to caitlin.vogus@ orangevest.org. [All email addresses in the eCSRU have an extra space added to reduce spam.]


Keep in Touch with FVPB!

You can now subscribe and unsubscribe yourself from the FVPB email list. The FVPB email list is used to disseminate information about the VPB, alumni, and upcoming events. To subscribe, go to: http://tethys.ringofsaturn.com/mailman/listinfo/chowder. Pass the word along to other alums, and if you know someone who wants to receive these newsletters and doesn't, please direct them to the site to subscribe!


Trivial Pursuit – Pep Band Trivia

Test your VPB knowledge with this new feature of the e-CSRU, a trivia question. The person who comes up with the correct answer first will have their names published as the winner in the next edition of the e-CSRU, upon which glory and bragging rights will rain down upon them.

This edition's trivia question is: What is the farthest the Pep Band has ever traveled by bus or car?

Please email your answers to caitlin.vogus@ orangevest.org and look for the winners in the next e-CSRU! In addition, why not post your fond memories of bus trips in the FVPB forums.


We Want You! – Upcoming VPB Events

Join FVPB and VPB at these upcoming events!

  • Homecomings. This year's Homecomings is November 1, when the Cavaliers will take on the Miami Hurricanes. FVPB is reserving a block of tickets for band alums at the football game, and the VPB will scramble around the Scott Stadium parking lot before the game. To purchase a ticket in the FVPB section for the game, please contact Nora Bungard at nora.bungard@ orangevest.org before August 11. In addition, please contact Nora if you're interested in attending a post-game BBQ.   

  • The Band performs at the Dogwood Festival.
  • Washington Nationals. The Pep Band will perform the National Anthem before the Nats play the Phillies on Tuesday, September 2 at 7 p.m. If you would like to play with the band, please contact Alex Houck at ajh9e@ cms.mail.virginia.edu ASAP. The first 10 alums to volunteer will receive a free ticket to the game, courtesy of FVPB (be sure to CC Dave Black at dave.black@ orangevest.org when you volunteer if you'd like a shot at a free ticket.) The Pep Band will stay and watch the game, and if you or your family and friends would like to come watch the game with the band, you can buy tickets for $15, $2 off the regular price, at http://www.dchoos.org/events/social/2008/09/02/index.php.
  • Banquet. The Pep Band would like to especially encourage alumni to attend this year's banquet, the best band party thrown all year! This year's Banquet will be held on March 14, 2009 in the West Oval Room of the Rotunda. For more information, contact Suzie Wright (sew8d@ virginia.edu) or Ryan Tanner (jrt3t@ virginia.edu).
  • New Directors. FVPB is looking for a few good men and women to help with FVPB business and possibly become Directors on the FVPB board. If you're interested in becoming more involved with the VPB and its alumni, contact Evan Macbeth at evan.macbeth@ orangevest.org.


Meet the Virginia Pep Band Managing Board

The Pep Band recently amended its constitution to change the way the managing board will be elected. Director and one board position will be elected at the end of each fall semester. The remaining two board positions will be elected at the end of the spring semester. However, that still means that the current board members will serve the band at least until the end of the fall (if they survive that long). They are:

Director Alexander Houck (CLAS '10): Alex, pause, HAHAHA SWAG!, is donning a new name and new instrument to begin his tenure heading the band's directorial duties. After finding a poor second year schmutz to take over as conductor, Alex will be able to kick back by engaging in his favorite activity: micromanaging. Alex plans on leading the band to infinity and beyond while strengthening the bond with alumni that he feels has weakened during his two years as a member of the band. Alex is a third year SWAG/Government major as well as a member of the Army ROTC program on grounds who rocks out to Journey and Queen songs in his basement bedroom.

    The Band's Fearless Leader

Board member Sara Herbst (NURS '10): Sara transferred to U.Va. last year, fell in love with the band, and is excited to be on board this year.   She plays percussion in the band and is a nursing student.   Sara also enjoys frolfing and is looking forward to living in the Bait Shoppe this year.

Board member David Leon (CLAS '10): “David,” more commonly known by his muppet name, Rowlf, is a short member of the band that plays trumpet, snare, bass drum, drum set, djembe, triangle, tambourine. Man. Rowlf is a double major in Biology and Kinesiology, with a concentration in kicking ass and forgetting to take names. He currently resides in the Cider House, or the house with all the rotting apples in the front yard, and he is well known for his bottomless pit of a stomach and his feat at ScavHunt '08 where he finished two 6 oz. bottles of very hot hot sauce and followed it by downing an entire can of whipped cream in the span of 15 seconds.

Board member Ellen Reifler (CLAS '11): Ellen, a physics major in the college, plays flute in the band. However, she is learning alto sax under the (sometimes helpful) guidance of the band's current sax section, and will be playing alto sax with the band in the near future (a.k.a. this semester). Ellen will also serve as the merchandise chair for the band this year, so any suggestions, questions, or complaints about all those magnificent band items can be sent to her at esr3d@ virginia.edu.  


What Are Those Crazy Undergrads Doing? – Recent Pep Band Activities

The Pep Band gets camera time for the 5-year anniversary.

The Pep Band kept busy bringing joy to the hearts of students, faculty, and community members throughout the spring semester and summer. Highlights include:

  • Five Year Anniversary. Band members marked the Five Year Anniversary of the Pep Band's ouster from Varsity Athletics with a Commemoration Scramble in the amphitheater. The Pep Band told jokes, preached the word of the VPB, and of course, played those peppy songs to keep passers-by entertained. Ironically, the band's performance was cut short by the University police. The band's antics even made the evening news and the Daily Progress. The Cavalier Daily also published an op-ed written by FVPB President Evan Macbeth on the Five Year Anniversary.

  • Banders enjoy the annual trip to Myrtle Beach.
  • Dogwood Festival. The Pep Band entiertained crowds and showed those marching bands how a parade is done in the annual Dogwood Festival and Parade through downtown Charlottesville.
  • Rugby. The women's rugby team enjoyed the VPB's tunes and their heckling of the Cavalier's opponents at a few games this Spring.
  • Beach Week. Band members traveled to South Carolina for their annual beach week after the end of exams and before graduation. Wholesome activities such as karaoke, consuming jungle juice, and plenty of sunbathing kept the banders relaxed and having fun!
  • The Pep Band is also planning some scramble-band-lovin' with the William & Mary Pep Band. The board is looking into bringing William & Mary banders to Charlottesville for a pre-game scramble and heading to Williamsburg to play at one of The Tribe's football games.


Ye Olde Story Time

Everyone knows that VPB alums love to reminisce about the good old days, from wild halftime shows to even wilder band parties! As a new feature in the e-CSRU, FVPB invites you to share your favorite story on a specified topic in the FVPB forums.

This edition's question: What is your favorite pep band show and why?

Post your answer the in the FVPB forums, and FVPB will publish our favorites in the next newsletter. (Please note in your story if you do not wish to have it published in the next newsletter.)

While you're there, check out the rest of the forums! They're a great way to learn about band events, alums, social events, and other VPB info in between newsletters!


What About the Old Farts? VPB Alumni News

Pep Band alums somehow manage to continue to trick people into marrying them, having children with them, and giving them jobs. Here's a brief smattering of alumni news. If you have news you'd like to have included in our next newsletter, please email caitlin.vogus@ orangevest.org.

  • Brittany Maslowsky (CLAS '08) recently returned from a 21-day service trip to Bangladesh, where she spent most of her days at the Islamabad Balika Etimhkana, an orphanage in Chittagong, playing with the orphans and helping to build a septic tank. She also had the opportunity to meet Nobel Peace Prize recipient Dr. Mohammad Yunus. The incredible experience has not only strengthened her sense of wanderlust, but also her desire to use her future for good!   Soon, she'll be off to NYC, where she will live in an overpriced closet with 3 other people while serving a year term as a volunteer for City Year.   She will be working with the students and administration of a public school in East New York, Brooklyn.

  • John and Megan showing off the ring.
  • Eh!Steve Rekant (CLAS '07) was recently offered a spot in Virginia Tech's veterinary school for the coming school year, but couldn't definitely say yes in the 24-hour window they gave him, so he had to decline the offer. Since then he has decided that he wants to attend that veterinary school but will have to wait until next August. Now that he has a year, there's no sense aiming for one of those 10 out-of-state spots and paying out of state tuition if he can avoid it, so he's on his way back to Charlottesville to make himself a Virginia resident and recruit the first year ladies to the band, if you know what we mean.
  • John Koerner (CLAS '06) and Megan Key (EDU '08) became engaged on August 31 and are planning a May 2009 wedding in South Carolina. John, a well known member of the band's "Spiller Dance Crew," will graduate from Columbia Law School in May and plans to work for a law firm in Washington, DC. Megan plans to work in Arlington, Virginia.
  • Chaz Williams (CLAS '06) and Jennifer Anderson were married on July 19, 2008 in Nashville, TN. Members of the wedding party included banders Steve Rekant and Matt Dreher. Chaz will graduate later this month from Texas A&M University with an MA in American History and will continue his studies in the doctoral program in history at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.   Jennifer will also attend Emory, where she will pursue a joint degree in law and religious studies (JD/MTS). They now reside at 216 Michigan Ave., Decatur, GA 30030.
  • Skeeter "Kristina" Dorsey (CLAS '07) has returned from the llama ranch in Montana, because she and Paulson "Robert" Griffin (CLAS '04) recently became engaged (for real!). Skeeter and Paulson are living in Reston, VA, where Skeeter cracks the whip at GMU's Fenwick library and Paulson fiddles with new satellites at GeoEye. They are planning a June wedding for next year, and will be married in the Church of Scientology. The couple is extremely happy! F@!$ yeah!

  • Banders at Chaz's wedding.
  • Meredith Williamson (CLAS '04) has FINALLY married Charles Nurmi (SEAS '01) in Clarksville, VA on May 3, 2008 after 7 and a half long years of dating. They were blessed with a beautiful day and the presence of many Pep Band friends, especially Vicky O'Connor (CLAS '04) and Ricky Moore (SEAS '01) who were part of the wedding party. In other news, Meredith graduated medical school in June and has been accepted to a combined Emergency and Internal Medicine residency at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA. She is in the process of converting religions from Redskins to Steelers.
  • Esteemed red-headed muppet duo, Grover and Emily Smith , have bid the "mitten" of Michigan goodbye and said hello to Beantown! Andy (SARC '01) and Emily (CLAS '03) moved to Boston this spring to be closer to family and Vermont maple syrup. Emily is now working as the Community Planning Librarian for Pollard Memorial library, the public library for Lowell, MA. Andy is still interviewing for architecture positions and hoping that the economy and housing market will rebound. If you need a place to stay in New England, come visit us in Cambridge!
  • Tom Susco (EDU '01/EDU '02) left his job at Purdue and will be starting law school at IUPUI while working as a physical therapist in Indianapolis. He and his family are hosting the Brain Aneursym 8k Race for Awareness in Memory of Timothy P. Susco, a fund-raiser to celebrate the life of his brother, who passed away on August 15, 2007. For more information, visit http://susco8k.com.
  • Jessica Bungard (CLAS '99) passed away on June 22, 2008. She is survived by her loving husband, Cody, her parents, and her sister Nora (CLAS '99). She will be deeply missed. A memorial site for Jess can be found at http://jessica-bungard.memory-of.com/
  • Renee (CLAS '00) and Chris (CLAS '97, GSAS '98) Rasmussen will be arriving in Middletown, CT soon, as Chris will start as a faculty member in the department of mathematics at Wesleyan University this fall. They have spent the last 13 months living in Kyoto, Japan, embracing the wonderful nuances of Japanese culture, from karaoke and anime to calligraphy and flower arranging. Mostly, they hope they did not re-enforce too many stereotypes of clueless foreigners living in Japan.


From the Bar with SeanMike and Marshall

As July turns to August a Cavalier's fancy turns to that noblest of sports, football. As we all know, the classic accessory for a well-dressed Pep Bander during football season is the squeeze bottle. Your two scofflaws fondly remember our Saturday morning practices. Waking early to that lovely hangover (or still slightly intoxicated from the previous night's shenanigans), sipping on a Jim Beam and Coke, or perhaps, when feeling more fancy, a luscious bouquet of Goldschlager and Mountain Dew. It's making us thirsty just thinking about it. (Not for that last concoction, though. What the hell were we thinking?)

Wistfully thinking of the feel of foam rubber and plastic in our hands, or a chipped clay goblet if you're of the age of Dave Black, we started thinking of the liquids contained in our trusty squeeze bottle and the idea of bottled cocktails. First, however, it needs to be noted that we are discussing cocktails rather than “mixed drinks.” “Mixed drinks” generally contain only a spirit and a mixer (bourbon coke, orange juice and vodka (aka the screwdriver), etc.) So what the hell is the difference?

Banging away during a rugby game (a good time for a bottled beverage).

A bottled cocktail is simply a way to prepare a cocktail for a group prior to the party starting. Rather than mixing up 15 individual Manhattans or martinis, for example, you can prepare enough for the gang in one batch to be served pre-chilled and ready to drink. Or if you're like us, you can make yourself one-big-ass cocktail to keep in your fridge for whenever the mood strikes. The cocktails that are best for bottling are those that are shaken or stirred with ice (more on that later) but served without ice in the glass. The key to having an enjoyable cocktail batched in this manner is water.

Ah ha! You're probably looking at this right now askance, thinking, “Don't water down my drinks, you intolerable hussy of a fink!” Water, however, is a key component of any drink. Let your ole pal SeanMike share with you an anecdote:

It was the summer of 2005. Put in charge of organizing the bachelor party of a friend, SeanMike decided to start off with a squeeze bottle of the guy's favorite drink, a Long Island Iced Tea. The ingredients are simple: vodka, tequila, rum, gin, triple sec, lemon juice, simple syrup, topped with cola. So SeanMike mixed them up in a bottle and off they went.

Needless to say, the drink was INCREDIBLY strong. Sure, it helped get the carousers drunk, but they had to keep adding Coke in order to be able to continue drinking the concoction. Of course you may also be questioning whether Long Island Iced Teas are ever worth making, drinking or discussing. Marshall certainly falls into this camp but SeanMike will ignore those protestations – it's not his choice of beverages, even if he did make YouTube videos on how to create them. Anyway, if you've made drinks before you might recognize something missing from SeanMike's Long Island Iced Tea debacle.

The missing piece was water. Normally a Long Island Iced Tea is shaken with ice and strained into a glass. As you shake a cocktail with ice, not only is the ice chilling the drink to a nice frosty temperature, it is also melting. This dilution factor helps make the drink more palatable. This also occurs with stirred drinks though stirring takes longer to reach the same dilution as shaking.

Let's assume you have decided to make a bottled Manhattan. Your Manhattan recipe calls for 2 ounces of bourbon and 1 ounce sweet vermouth plus two dashes of bitters per cocktail. You plan on keeping the bottle in the fridge until the party (or 10 a.m.) and you certainly want it to taste good. As we've said, you'll need to make the drink with the addition of water in order to have the correct dilution for palatability. The fridge will do the work of cooling the bottled cocktail.

They must have squeeze bottles under those ponchos.

Using information from The Joy of Mixology (that invaluable tome we mentioned in the previous “At The Bar”), Gary Regan says that 1/3 of the volume of all the other ingredients should be included as water. Thus, his recipe is:

12 ounces bourbon
4 ounces sweet vermouth
5 ounces bottled water
1 teaspoon Angostura bitters

Let's look at this a little bit more mathematically. Using a 25 ounce bottle for your cocktail will mean you have to have 8 ounces of water (25 x 1/3). This leaves a total of 17 ounces for the other ingredients (25 - 8). Of the 17 ounces 2/3 is bourbon and 1/3 is sweet vermouth. To get your ratios for the bourbon and vermouth look back at your original recipe above. Add the total number of ounces (2 + 1 = 3) and this is your denominator. Then use the number of ounces for an ingredient as the numerator (bourbon is 2; vermouth is 1). The bitters are hard to scale because the original measurement is in dashes. A good rule of thumb is to think about how many total servings are in your bottle. Here we have roughly 8 servings in your bottle (25 ounce bottle divided by 3 ounce recipe). So the 2 dashes of bitters per serving is multiplied by 8 servings giving you 16 dashes of bitters for your bottled cocktail.

Using the ratios figured out above our bottled cocktail will look something like this:
8 oz water (25 x 1/3)
11 oz bourbon ((25 - 8) x 2/3)
5.5 oz sweet vermouth ((25 - 8) x 1/3)
16 dashes of bitters ((25 divided by 3) x 2)

When you have your ratios figured out, simply mix everything in your bottle, shake it a bit just to make sure everything is incorporated and chill in the fridge until drinking time.

Once you have the hang of making up bottled cocktails down, you'll find that it makes it a lot easier to prepare for parties. Just bottle up a few of your favorite cocktails and spend the time drinking and having fun rather than playing bartender. It makes it easy to give a party a theme, lets party-goers get their own drinks, and also gives people immediate ideas of what they might want to drink. And it also makes life easier when going to a party – just bring a bottle of your favorite cocktail. It's classier than drinking whiskey straight out of the bottle and tastier than the usual keg of Natty Lite.


Donate to FVPB

No e-CSRU would be complete without a call for you to donate to FVPB to help keep the VPB going strong. For five years now FVPB has been providing monetary support so the VPB can keep doing all the activities that make it great! With plans in the works to travel to the Nats game, William & Mary, and recruit new members in the fall, the band needs your support. Donations can be made at   http://www.donortownsquare.com/donate_redir.aspx?ai=569&qs=XLJQL or by sending your donation to: Friends of the Virginia Pep Band, Inc., P.O. Box 4524, Charlottesville, VA 22905-4524. As always, donations are tax deductible!


Viva la Pep Band!

Friends of the Virginia Pep Band




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