June 2011


Welcome to the June 2011 edition of the FVPB e-CSRU, where you can find updates about the Virginia Pep Band, VPB alums, trivia and stories, and more! Please email your 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 still 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. 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!
To subscribe, go to: http://tethys.ringofsaturn.com/mailman/listinfo/chowder.


Save the Date

Homecomings is October 14-16, and the Cavaliers will play Georgia Tech on Saturday, October 15.  Please save the date and look for a future email from FVPB with more details about Pep Band alumni events for the weekend.

FVPB is planning an alumni event in the Northern Virginia area this summer. Keep an eye out for an email with more information and contact caitlin.vogus@ orangevest.org if you would like to help with the event.


Trivial Pursuit – Pep Band Trivia

Test your VPB knowledge with our trivia question. Please email answers to caitlin.vogus@ orangevest.org.

This edition’s trivia question is: Name all (or as many as you can) of the Pep Band’s “muppets” (With bonus points for their real names, too!)

The person with the most correct muppets wins!

In the last edition we asked:  What two unusual objects did the Pep Band conductor use to conduct the band in its 1974 Maryland field show and 1974 Virginia Tech show?  As extra help, we provided some great videos showing the band in action!

The correct answer is:  A candy cane and a turkey leg.

For sending in the correct answer first, our winner is Tom Sutton (SEAS ’78)!  As a former show committee member of the band, Tom may have had a leg up in this competition. Tom also played trombone and fired the starter’s pistol to signal formation changes as a member of the band.  Congratulations, Tom!


Meet the Virginia Pep Band Managing Board

The band recently met to elect new members of the managing board. They are:

The band plays at Camp Wahoo.

Director Rob Michaels (CLAS ’13):  Mr. Michaels comes from the back woods of Western East Virginia. The University is a weird experience for him, as heat in the winter and no tractors on the roads are novel concepts. While doing his best to assimilate to modern culture, he takes refuge with the Pep Band while playing whatever percussion instrument happens to be necessary at the time. He has a plethora of useless talents, including but not limited to opening starburst with his tongue, being able to kick himself in the head, and playing Guitar Hero at professional levels.

Board Member Alyssa Miller (CLAS’ 12) is shy, but once she has finally opened up it is hard to get her to stop talking. She also prides herself on being a self-proclaimed nerd. She plays the clarinet in the Virginia Pep Band, but she can also play the saxophone and guitar. 

Board member Kedrick Smith (CLAS ’13) is a mysterious member of the board who plays drums and is also in the Jazz band.  Kendrick is carrying on the band’s recent link with UTS by training to become a University bus driver.


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

On the bus after Caroling.
  • Football Scrambling – Pep Banders continue to provide music, cheer, and scrambling chaos outside home football games in the parking lot of Scott Stadium.  In addition, the band performed outside the first Spring football game this year.
  • Pancakes for Parkinson’s – Free pancakes and a worthy cause inspired Pep Band members to perform at the annual Pancakes for Parkinson’s on the Lawn before U.Va.’s homecoming match against UNC this year. 
  • Jeffrey’s Gifts 5k – Band members braved an early call time to perform for runners in Jeffery’s 5k, a charity event sponsored by Phi Sigma Pi to raise money to deliver toys to children fighting cancer at U.Va. Children’s Hospital.
  • Club Hockey – Sweatshirts and jackets under vests help keep the VPB warm as it performed for club hockey games this season.  Even frozen fingers and that “unique” hockey-equipment smell can’t stop the Pep Band from supporting U.Va. club sports!
  • Take Back the Night – The band joined the annual Take Back the Night march to raise awareness of sexual violence, marching and playing to bring attention to this important cause.
  • Club Baseball – The Pep Band continues to expand its events to include new club sports.  This spring, the VPB performed at club baseball games, delighting students and fans alike.
  • President Theresa Sullivan’s Inaugural Walk – The Band welcomed President Sullivan to the University at her Inaugural walk in April
  • Banquet – Band members celebrated the end of the school year in style with the annual band banquet on April 23.  Dinner was held at Baja Bean, with the usual festivities lasting late into the night at the Glee Club house. 
  • Virginia Pep Band, Inc. - The Pep Band has made a substantial step toward its goal of world domination by incorporating itself. Many thanks to Evan Macbeth and Katie Albert for this momentous accomplishment. The band can now enjoy all the rights of a Virginia corporation, as well as more favorable treatment the next time it comes before the Supreme Court.


Ye Olde Story Time

There’s nothing like a good Pep Band flame war.  What’s your favorite Pep Band email list memory – the pep-band email thread that was most hilarious, got most out of control, or features the most inane discussion of baseball ever? (And for the record, IDGASAB)

Post your answer the in the FVPB Facebook group, 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 Facebook group, or our 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.

  • Will Ashford (SEAS ’08) and Emma White (CLAS ’07) got engaged in February, on the steps of the Rotunda! Will and Emma are getting married on July 2, 2012, at Airth Castle in Scotland. The couple is pretty sure this will be the pep band’s first wedding in kilts.
  • After nine and a half years spent in and out of school, Nora Bungard (CLAS ’10) finished her BA degree in Environmental Sciences from U.Va. 
  • Miles Carey (CLAS ’09) is moving from Richmond to Washington, D.C.  Miles hopes to either continue his teaching career or join the mindless drones who labor for the federal government, focusing on biochemical work.
  • Phoebe Dunderdale (CLAS ’09) has recently moved to Northern Virginia! Phoebe is currently hula-hooping her way through the DC-area, obtaining certification as a hoping instructor and teaching classes in Arlington and elsewhere.  She hopes to someday teach hoop dance full time.

  • Emily Smith and smartypants Ben.
  • Michael Fuches (CLAS ’92) published a new book, Don’t Shoot Me in the Ass, and Other Stories, this spring.  Who even knew that guy could read?
  • Elmo “James” Maxwell (CLAS ’04) and Ginny Chilton (CLAS ’04)moved to Boston, where Ginny has started a Masters of Sacred Music in organ at Boston University.  Elmo will graduate in August and go on to a post-doc research position at the University of New Hampshire. The couple lives in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, just a couple blocks from the baseball stadium, so anyone in town to see the Red Sox should look them up!
  • On December 10, 2010, Pep Band alums Erik Larson (CLAS ’04) and Lindsay Clark (CLAS ’10) were officially engaged to be married. They’ve already purchased a yet-unnamed satellite band house in Lake Monticello 15 miles outside Charlottesville that can be rented for parties, shin-digs, hoe-downs, box socials, bar mitzvahs, circumcisions and raves. You can also just drop in to visit, but what’s the fun in that!? Their new address is 693 Jefferson Dr Palmyra VA 22963 so they’ll be expecting Christmas cards and pictures of your disgustingly adorable offspring!
  • Margaret Sessa-Hawkins (CLAS ’08) recently finished up almost three years in the peace corps and is headed home soon to recoup for two months before moving to Edinburgh, Scotland to get a MSc in International Development from Edinburgh University.  Margaret looks forward to both the rain and cold of Scotland.
  • Emily (CLAS ’03) and Grover “Andy” Smith (SARC ’01) welcomed Benjamin Douglas Smith on January 30, 2011 at 10:19 a.m. He was 6 pounds 14 ounces, 19.5 inches. He has not yet chosen his muppet name.
  • Andrew Westbrook (SEAS ’01) and Sally Mahoney were married on October 2, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in a museum of medical oddities. Although Sally does not play a musical instrument, she’s never attended a school with a marching band, which must count for something. The couple lives in Seattle where they drink copious amounts of coffee and IPAs.


From the Bar with SeanMike

An oft-told piece of advice for folks looking to stock their bar is “buy the ingredients necessary to make your favorite cocktail and build it up from there.”

That’s fine advice - but what if you want to build up the basics of the whole thing? Maybe you just got your wife pregnant (WHICH SEEMS TO BE HAPPENING ALL THE TIME NOWADAYS) and you’re not allowed to leave the house anymore, so you need to drink in silence in your basement, praying she doesn’t let the brat loose when you’re six fingers into the Scotch. Or perhaps you got a good tax refund and want to spend it on booze and not throw it away on house improvements or testicular implants for your neutered dog. Or you got a bonus at work, and you know that the only thing that helps you through the existential hell of cubicle land in a remote cookie cutter suburb of a large city is the sweet oblivion of booze.

After all, when you drink at home, you’re much less likely to get a DUI!

Well, then, I’m going to assume you live in Virginia, and most likely, will be shopping at Virginia ABC (and that the governor hasn’t fucked up the ABC system by the time you read this). (Honestly, for a state-run system, Virginia’s is not bad at all. The latest compromise floated before the media, privatizing the stores but not the distribution system, combines the worst parts of a private system and a state system.)

(But if you really want good booze, try DC or NYC.)

(But I digress.)

What you’ll need is an array of the basic liquors and the tools necessary to make the drinks.  Let’s cover tools first.

A long spoon for stirring, a Boston shaker (tempered glass on one side, metal on the other, or metal on both sides - not one of those crappy three piece shakers), a strainer, a fine mesh strainer, a lemon and lime hand juicer, measuring jiggers (I suggest the two ounce Oxo measuring cups), and glasses. Those are the basics. You can find them in various stores (Bed Bath & Beyond typically has a decent selection), or online at Kegworks or Amazon.com.

Now look at your bar. What bottles do you already have? Hell, I still have bottles from college, I think. (I’m pretty certain that bottle of Irish Mist was with me at Morris Paul Court....) Liquor, for the most part, doesn’t go bad, though it will change a bit with contact to air.

I’d never suggest just throwing out liquor because it’s old unless you’re extremely strapped for room. Just stick it in the back. Who knows when you’ll want to use it for something random. And if it’s something fairly generic and/or useful, save it for a time when you’re making a batch of cocktails or a punch and you can hide it. Or give it to people you don’t like as much.

Now let’s look at the liquors. I’m going to suggest liquors in the $20-30 range for the “basics”, for the most part.

Vodka - Sure, people love to say vodka is supposed to be tasteless, etc. etc. etc. Well - it ain’t. If you’re considering at all drinking it straight, go for Tito’s. $20.95 a fifth, comes from Texas, and honestly, it’s quite tasty. I get a lot of free vodka and don’t drink hardly any of it, so I’d avoided buying Tito’s because, well, I don’t need more vodka. Then they sent me 1.75 liters of it (with one bottle signed by Tito), so I shared it with my mom. I was honestly surprised how much I liked it.

If you’re just going to mix with it, Sobieski - $13.95 a liter.

Alumni clean out their squeezes for grinching.

Gin - For a standard London dry, I’d suggest Bombay, Beefeater, or Tanqueray. The regular ones, not the Sapphire (which I think is just too soft, for the most part), though I do like the Tanq 10. Those will run you between $19.95 and $24.90.

Plymouth gin is a subtly different style than London dry. It’s just short of $30, but for drinks that specifically call for it, you’ll want it (try the pink gin - 3 ounces of Plymouth and 6 dashes of Angostura bitters, shaken). Hendricks is a Scottish gin at $36.90 a fifth, but it’s unlike most other gins - it’s a great gateway for people who say “oh, I don’t like gin.” (It’s how I got into gin!)

Bourbon - This is a huge one.

For straight mixing, Ancient Age is less than $10 and not bad at all. Buffalo Trace ($23.95) and Eagle Rare ($26.95) are very good for mixing and I’ll drink them straight, too. Bulleit bourbon ($25.95) has a high rye content which makes for an interesting contrast in a cocktail versus Maker’s Mark ($27.90).

Rye - Rye is huge right now. Old Overholt ($18.45) is a staple, but at 80 proof can be a bit weak in some drinks. Sazerac ($25.95) is better at 90, though if you can find Wild Turkey 101 Rye ($22.95) you should give it a shot. Myself, I tend to go into the city for Rittenhouse 100 Bottled in Bond, but I can’t find anything but the 21 year old ($155.35) in Virginia. Don’t get me wrong, the 21 year old is fantastic, but that’s pricey for what you get (it’s not even barrel strength) and you don’t to mix with it.

Applejack - Speaking of bottled in bond, “Captain Apple Jack” is a Virginia & North Carolina version of Laird’s Bottled in Bond applejack ($18.90). This is not a staple and you might not need it, but it’s a fun alternative to whiskeys.

Brandy - If you’re not drinking it straight, St. Remy VSOP is $13.45.

Tequila - Right now it can be hard to find affordable tequilas - and don’t get me started on my burgeoning mezcal habit. I like to recommend Jose Cuervo Tradicional to people ($24.90) - good price for a 100% agave tequila (don’t buy anything that ISN’T 100% agave). Patron is overrated shit. Try Milagro, Cabo Wato is surprisingly good for being from Sammy Hagar, or one of my favorites, Cazadores.

Rum - I left rum for last because it’s a hard one. The more you get into rum, the more you see so many varieties and possibilities. But I’ll try to keep it for a simple home bar.

I got an e-mail from a blogger advertising his site. In his bar section he said “Myer’s - nothing but that”. It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen written on the Internet. (NOTE: that is not true, but it is close.) It made me immediately dismiss the rest of his site as pure, uneducated bullshit that made me want to vomit with rage. It’s not just that Myer’s sucks (it sucks SO MUCH) but that there’s so much other stuff you need in rum!

I’m not Rumdood but here’s what I’d recommend:
Spiced: Odds are you’re mixing it. Kraken. $19.95.
White: Don’t get Bacardi. Cruzan is $13.95. Wray & Nephew Overproof is $23.95.
Dark: Cruzan Blackstrap is fantastic and $18.90. El Dorado is even better if you can find it - the 15 year old is stunning and just short of $40.
151: If you find Lemon Hart 151 CALL ME IMMEDIATELY I WANT IT ALL.

Scotch - Like rum, or sipping bourbons, this is too complicated to get into here. For mixing, try Famous Grouse ($25.95) or if you can find it, Black Bottle.

Others - Aperol is $25.95 and can be considered a “gateway” Campari ($29.95). There’s no substitute for Cointreau ($39.90) when it’s called for, though Stirrings has a triple sec out now that’s like $12. Grand Marnier is also unique enough that you might want to consider it separately ($39.90 also). In Virginia, you’re a bit limited on absinthes, so I’d suggest the Lucid ($59.95).

Finally, you’ll need bitters. In Virginia, Angostura is carried in grocery stores and you’re more likely nowadays to find the orange variety with it. Peychaud’s is carried by ABC, and I seem to recall seeing Gary Regan’s Orange #6 bitters in ABC somewhere - I’d suggest those if you can find them, orange Ango otherwise.

Remember to stock up on fresh lemons and limes, make your own simple syrup, and you’re ready to go! Basically.

One last note before I sign off: a lot of the ingredients can be hard to decide on if you haven’t had them before. When you’re at a bar or restaurant, consider buying just a straight shot of it with a side of water or ice so you can sample it and see if a full bottle is worth it.

Or, if you live near the DC area, feel free to give me a call or e-mail (seanmike@ scofflawsden.com). I’m always willing to try to set up a tasting! (That goes double if your name is “EVAN MACBETH” since I seem to have lost track of what we were talking about with that...)

See you next time at the bar!


Donate to FVPB

FVPB is still accepting your donations to keep the Pep Band going strong! FVPB provides monetary support so the VPB can keep doing all the activities that you read about in this newsletter! 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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