The Chair’s Corner

I am honored and excited to write to you as the new Chair of the Big Red Bands Alumni Association. It is a great time to be associated with the Big Red Bands, with the imminent opening of the new band facility and what will certainly be one of the most exciting Homecomings in a long time!

Before I continue, I want to thank our outgoing Chair of the past four years, Eva Chiamulera ’97. While the day-to-day operations of the Bands are quite appropriately the responsibility of the student leaders, Eva has worked hard behind the scenes over the past few years to assist them in their endeavors. Eva put in countless hours in between meetings to allow the Band to thrive despite some difficult transitions. So if I may… aardvark Eva!

I’d like to lay out my priorities for the Big Red Bands Alumni Association for the next two years.

First and foremost, we will streamline communications with all of our alumni. Our listserv, BRBAA-L, is long defunct, Facebook doesn’t reach everybody, and print newsletters carry issues of timeliness as well as cost. Over the next four months, we will develop a strategy for keeping you informed of what is important in the Big Red Band universe. And most importantly, we will let you know what that strategy isso that you know where and when to expect updates. While it is an intermediate step, this electronic newsletter is a large part of how we intend to keep in touch with you moving forward.

Second, we will develop and cultivate relationships with key stakeholders in the band. This includes traditional associations (Athletics, Music) but also underutilized resources (Alumni Affairs, Student and Academic Services). By doing this, we hope to maintain the important stature of the Bands to Cornell, both on campus and beyond, and position ourselves to best empower the student leaders.

Third, we will continue the BRBAA’s strong tradition of long-term financial planning and fiscal responsibility for the Bands. The bands have never wavered in their support for Cornell, for example, by traveling to FIVE different NCAA tournaments in a given spring semester. Of course, this requires careful planning and allocation of resources, and we will do our best to ensure that opportunities for Band members to have better experiences are only limited by how far the teams go!

Moving forward, we hope to inform you, our loyal alumni, on what is going on with the Big Red Marching Band and the Big Red Pep Band. What I ask of you is to let me know what you want to know! Are you interested in how we’re using your generous gifts? Are you wondering how the band functions in the ever-changing Cornell landscape? Or do you want to see some pictures of the students in action and know if they’re still playing <fill in your favorite song here&rt;? Please feel free to reach out to Marching Band Head Manager Shelby Hulett, Drum Major Steve Albanese, Pep Band Manager Nick Lamson, or our wonderful Alumni Relations chairs, Kevin Milian and Anita Mbogoni. I want to hear from you, too – you can reach me at

Whether you follow the Bands’ exploits closely, attend a football or hockey game once a year, or anything in between, your support is what allows the great traditions that we all enjoyed to continue and for new ones to develop. In many ways, you are helping the same Big Red Band spirit and personality that we all loved in our college years positively influence many generations of bandies as well as amuse, entertain, and excite audiences in Ithaca and beyond.

Enthusiastically Yours,

Lowell Frank ’99, M.D. ’03
Chair, Big Red Bands Alumni association