CBAA Special Meeting
Alumni House, Bechtel Room
Members Present: John "Vito" Gibson, Hugh Barnett, Dan Yee, Eric Heilmann,
Kathy Heilmann, Lance Chong, Lisa Holmes, John Psathas, Victor Lee, Tim
Castro, Larry Anderson, Jerry Taylor, Wade Williams, Bruce Hinkley, James
Berdahl (Ex-Officio), Rune Stromsness (Ex-Officio - Cal Band Sr. Manager).
Also Present: Don Griffith, Dan Cheatham, Eric Armstrong, John Borrego, Doug
(Secretary's note: It came to my attention later that this meeting brought
together seven decades of Cal Band Members! From James Berdahl in the 30's;
Don Griffith in the 40's; a handful each from the 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's;
all the way up to Rune Stromsness from the 90's. Wow!)
Call to Order
Meeting called to order by Vito at 10:10 a.m. (ten minutes late).
Introductions were made around the table for the benefit of guests.
Approval of Minutes
Discussion of minutes from June 4, 1994 Council Meeting. Add Lance Chong to
Performance Committee. Linda Vogelsberg made a motion to approve as
corrected; Victor Lee seconded. Unanimously approved as corrected.
Report of Membership and Finance Committee
Hugh Barnett reported that the Membership and Finance Committee recently met
to discuss and recommend prices for merchandise (Cal Alumni Band shirts and
hats) and membership dues. These recommendations are now before the Council
When bought in bulk, shirts cost us under $9, hats and cost us under $7. The
committee also agreed that we want to maintain a price differential between
CBAA sustaining members and others. Accordingly, the committee recommends:
Our Cost Price for Sustaining Members Price for Others
Shirt less than $9 $10 $13
Hat less than $7 $7 $9
We believe that this is consistent with prices charged in previous years.
Dues are currently set at $12 for 1 year, $20 for 2 years, and $23 for a Young
Alumni membership, which includes a 2-year membership, hat, and shirt. The
basic dues have been in effect since the CBAA was formed in the early 1980's
and have never increased. Meanwhile, the cost of doing business had
dramatically increased. (Consider how the cost of postage alone has increased
in that time frame!) Also, we are increasingly interested in and able to take
on ambitious projects like the History Book and funding awards for the Band,
but it is difficult to do so without additional funding for the Association.
Accordingly, the committee recommends the following modest increase in
1 Year 2 Year Young Alumni *
Current Dues $12 $20 $23
Proposed Dues $15 $25 $29
* The committee proposes that the Young Alumni membership consist of a two
year CBAA membership, plus a free hat and shirt; it would be available only to
alumni whose last year in Band was either of the previous two fall seasons.
Eric Armstrong, who now works for the Alumni Association, reported that even
with these dues increases, the CBAA is among the least expensive Cal Alumni
clubs. Dan Yee asked if the committee had considered a lifetime membership
option. Hugh reported that they had not. Vito asked the Finance & Membership
committee to look into this at some future committee meeting.
Hugh Barnett moved to approve the prices for merchandise and membership dues
as proposed; Wade Williams seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Discussion of Process to Hire New Band Director
The discussion began with Rune Stromsness giving some background: Last
October, Bob took the University's early retirement incentive. He is
continuing half-time until June 1995. In March this year, the Ex-Comm and
some Band alumni began meeting to discuss the way we wanted the new director
chosen. They drew up a recommended committee of 7 or 9 members, including 2
Cal Band officers, 1 CBAA representative, 1 CBB representative, 1 Cal
Performances representative, 1 SMA representative, 1 Cal Alumni Association
representative, and if the committee were expanded from 7 to 9, add 1 Athletic
Department representative and 1 Development office representative. This plan
was sent to the University in early April 1994. In late May, we heard that
the music department was interested in participating, but information was very
vague. This sparked a debate. Does the Band want the music dept. to
participate? What does the music dept. want? A sub-committee of the CBAA met
to discuss this with some members of the Band's Ex-Comm.
Hugh Barnett continued by saying that there are two parts to the discussion:
(1) formation of a search and screening committee, and (2) writing the
position description and qualifications. Towards the second end, a survey was
send out to sustaining members asking for their input. These are just now
being collected. The search and screening committee will be appointed by
Robert Cole within the next few weeks, and the new director will be hired by
the next academic year -- July 1, 1995.
Rune continued by saying that since then Cole has talked to the music dept.
and they are interested in getting someone half time for the spring semester
to teach concert band, so from their perspective the position would be one
quarter music department and three quarters Cal Band. The main issues to the
Band are (1) Do we want this? (2) If we share, how do we select the best
person to meet the Band's needs given the music dept.'s needs? (3)
Fundraising, how would this affect it? (4) Recruiting, how would this affect
it? Also, at the urging of supporters, the Band is considering hiring a half
time fundraising person, directing skills not necessary. Could the quarter
salary freed up by the music dept. be used towards funding this half time
person? The Cal Band Ex-Comm has no problem sharing as long as we don't lose
out on any of the important issues, but we are wary of the selection process
if it is not a full time Cal Band person, because the selection has to proceed
down academic channels, not the administrative channels.
Vito pointed out that it is still unknown what role the music department will
play in the selection process.
Rune continued, saying that he had assurances from Cole that there will be at
least three "Cal Band" representatives on the selection committee, meaning 2
Band officers, and 1 CBAA representative. Also it is likely that we can get a
CBB representative as well. Cole is talking to Jazz and Choral to see if they
are interested in sharing the fundraising person, say one quarter time each,
so that the position could be full time altogether. The job would be
officially only for one year because the approval process for hiring for
regular campus jobs is so difficult. But the job could be renewed, and
eventually made permanent.
Hugh pointed out that one alternative is for the fund-raiser to be an
assistant director instead, and the fund-raiser could be paid out of funds
Rune continued, saying that Cole had looked at the Cal Band constitution. The
constitution does not guarantee the Band a role in the selection of a new
director, just a recommendation. Cole agreed that insuring that the director
works within the constitution is a priority for him, too, and that this could
kill the deal with the music department.
Dan Cheatham urged the Band to hold Cole to that promise of honoring the
constitution. If it aint broke, don't fix it.
Vito reminded us that this is a very political issue. Kathy Heilmann mailed
him a brief history of the Aggie Band, and Vito was interested to read about a
time in the 50's when the Aggie Band was struggling with its administration
and the music department for its independence, and the end result was that the
band's constitution was honored but modified to meet the changing needs.
Kathy Heilmann said that she would call the Aggie Band Alumni historian to see
if he had any more information on that.
Wade Williams pointed out that the University wasn't involved in the 1981
constitution rewrite, but that mostly dealt with internal changes.
Linda Vogelsberg reported out on the work of the Director's Committee. This
committee recently met and discussed these issues at length with some members
of the Cal Band Ex-Comm, but didn't come up with any firm recommendations.
The committee did, however, outline three basic processes under which the
selection could take place:
1) No involvement of the music department.
* Political battles with Cole and others
* No academic credit for band members
* Full autonomy
2) Music department role in Concert Band only
* Music dept. voice on selection committee
* Cole is happier (he likes this option)
* Some loss of autonomy
* May be able to hire assistant director
3) Music department take ownership of the Band
* We now know that this is really not what anyone is proposing, so
Rune explained the significance of the academic vs. administrative track. If
the position is completely administrative, the hiring process is relatively
straightforward. If the position is even a little bit academic, it goes down
the academic track. The process is very different and it eventually has to be
approved by the academic senate. The very first decision that has to be made
is which track is the position going down. Cole is looking for the Band's
input, but even he does not make the final decision. Cole's boss, Carol
Christ, will have the final say.
Vito said that our role is to give input to the Band, whether the position
becomes academic or not, and to give all involved a sense of what the alumni
Hugh said that he has a relationship with Robert Cole that goes a ways back,
so he has discussed this issue with him on a number of occasions. Hugh's
first "chess move" was to ask for three things:
1) If the position becomes part-time academic, the Band gets an assistant
director (or some kind of assistant).
2) No music department credit for Cal Band marching season.
3) The constitution will be preserved unchanged.
Rune said that the music department's real needs are for a wind ensemble.
Currently, the music department only has an orchestra, so music majors who
play non-orchestra instruments have to bus over to San Francisco State for
performance classes. This has been a source of embarrassment to the music
department. Nobody has talked about the music department being involved in
our budget. It would actually be good if concert band, as a music department
class, were held in BRH, because then BRH would officially be a classroom and
the Band would not have to pay for maintenance of BRH out of its own budget.
Dan Cheatham suggested that perhaps we could hire a director, and then later
the music department could work out a deal with him/her to be a lecturer for
the music department for concert band.
James Berdahl said that when he was a employed half by the music department
and half by the ASUC there was no conflict that he could remember. Everybody
left him alone.
Larry Anderson said that when he was teaching half and half at Davis, there
were only a few conflicts, mostly regarding sharing facilities and other minor
stuff. His experience is that high school band directors tell their students
not to go to Cal because there is no concert band. This is a terrible
recruiting problem for the Cal Band! At Davis, they have no such problem.
Someone else did concert band in the fall while Larry was doing Aggie Band.
Rune said that Cole has been pushing for several years for a University
concert band, and he wants the involvement of the music department and Student
Musical Activities. The music department's new chair, Ollie Wilson, is more
interested in performance than the previous chair. Cole tried to link SMA
Vocal and the music dept. for a joint appointment when SMAV recently hired a
new director, but the music department said no (this was under the previous
chair, however). And also the music department started their own jazz band,
rebuking SMA jazz. (So now there is music dept. jazz, SMA jazz, and Cal Band
Vito said that what he hears from this discussion is that the CBAA is not
opposed to the music department having a role in the selection process. This
was agreed to with nods around the table.
Rune said that the Band has already said that they have no problem with part
time music department involvement for director, but they need full-time
control of the Cal Band. Also, the Band is considering dropping Spring Show,
so the spring semester may not be a conflict after all.
Kathy urged the Band and the CBAA to write up a detailed proposal of how the
selection process would be handled, including qualifications for the position,
duties during the year, boundaries between control of the two organizations,
etc. Be very specific because you cannot assume that anyone outside of the
Band understands what goes into running the Band. Then let the music
department react to our proposal. If you wait until the music department has
set their own agenda, you will have a much harder time getting what you want.
Victor Lee suggested identifying early on what things are show-stoppers or
Vito asked if we have agreement that preserving the student system is an
absolute requirement. Enthusiastic nods around the table show that there is
agreement on this. Let's try to move on. What qualities and qualifications
should the Band director possess?
Dan Cheatham said that mentoring quality is vital.
Larry suggested that a presence at the faculty club is important, although of
course not a qualification.
John Borrego said that fundraising and schmoozing skills are important.
Vito suggested that a willingness to go to high schools and recruit is
Doug Slaton said that while musicianship is important, requiring a Ph.D. is
going to far.
Larry said that even the music department wouldn't require a Ph.D., a Master's
would be OK.
Rune pointed out that the Band doesn't necessarily want a "Bob clone." They
are looking at what is essential.
Victor said that experience with popular forms of music is important, not just
classical. The director has to be able to interpret pop music.
Dan Yee said that you should focus on what the Band director has to do, and
then ask each applicant how he/she will do each of the activities.
John Psathas said that applicants should have a plan to improve the sound of
the Cal Band.
Rune said that as soon as the search committee is formalized, the Band's draft
job description will be circulated.
Vito said that there seems to be some consensus, but he wants to talk to some
other alumni and get the survey results back. Kathy, Linda, and John Psathas
will collect and compile. Hugh and Kathy will work with Rune on a detailed
proposal per Kathy's suggestion. At our next regular meeting we will select
our official representative from this group, but for now it will be Vito.
(Hugh will probably be the representative from the Cal Band Backers.) By the
next meeting, we should have the job description in progress. It will be an
extended council meeting.
The director's committee will meet again on Wednesday, August 3 at 7pm in BRH.
All are welcome to attend. The next regular CBAA meeting, which was decided
at the last regular meeting, will be on Saturday, August 20, from 9am to noon.
Kathy will send out a notice before each.
Meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Kathy Heilmann, CBAA Secretary, July 15, 1994.
Last Modified: October 30, 2000
© University of California Alumni Band Association, 1994-2000