(Senate - April 25, 2013)

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[Page S3024]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


 Mr. WARNER. Madam President, I am pleased to honor the 
Fredericksburg Big Band for their significant contribution to culture 
and charitable organizations in central Virginia.
  In March of 1966 the Fredericksburg Big Band was formed when a group 
of musicians gathered at the old American Legion Hall in Fredericksburg 
and began a revival of 1930s and 1940s big band music. They initially 
began playing simply because they enjoyed the music. Later that year 
the band was asked to play for the King George Fall Festival and began 
making public appearances. Soon after, they had the idea of playing for 
charities because these civic-minded musicians wanted to make a 
difference for people in their communities. The mission of the band 
soon became to provide music at charity events throughout the central 
Virginia area. The band continues that tradition to this day.
  Since the inception of the band in March of 1966, it has performed at 
many charity events in the central Virginia area and helped local 
organizations to collectively raise well over $2 million. Of notable 
mention are two long standing events: The Fredericksburg Big Band has 
performed a September concert sponsored by the Salvation Army Women's 
Auxillary since 1988 and Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation has 
sponsored the Fredericksburg Big Band March concert at the University 
of Mary Washington since 1987 as a means for the band to give back to 
the community.
  The Big Band consists of local business and music professionals who 
donate their time to the group's mission, including past directors 
Philip Heim, DuVal Hicks, Richard Phillips, Joseph Ulman, and current 
director Stephen Sanford, who has been a member of the band since 1975. 
The current members of the band are: Stephen Sanford, director; Ron 
Pronk, Karen Blake, Jeremy Cooper, Terry Rooker, and John Robie on 
saxophone; Paul Rawlins, Stephen Sanford, Earl Sam, and Jim Breakiron 
on trombone; Marc Weigel, Kevin Shipe, James Canty, and Dave Greenfield 
on trumpet; Kathryn Hichborn on keyboard; Frankie Blackburn on guitar; 
Michael Rinckey on string bass; Dave Fosdick and Ray Homoroc on drums; 
and Mary Jo Prouty as vocalist. Current substitutes include Luke Grey 
on string bass, Gary Carper on trombone and Mike Sanders on trumpet.
  Despite the many changes in the Fredericksburg Big Band membership 
over the past 47 years, their mission of supporting charitable 
organizations and their dedication to keeping the sound of the big band 
alive remains strong. I ask the U.S. Senate to join me in 
congratulating the Fredericksburg Big Band on their civic-minded, 
philanthropic success and dedication to the arts.