Taft High School Virtual Band Reunion


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1960s Graduates

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Barry Green, Former Drum Major
Was the Principal Double Bass Player for the Cincinnati Symphony for 28 years and has returned to Northern California (Bay Area) to work with young bassists and write books about music concentration ‘inner game’ and the ‘soul’ of the musician. Married to Mary for 18 years (second marriage) and have two grown married sons (one musician) and an actor stepson.
7991 Terrace Drive
El Cerrito, CA 94530
510-525-7991 Phone
510-525-7911 Fax
Inner Game of Music
Christy (Cartwright) Reid, W-1963
After Taft, finished San Jose State (Music/English) and married Wendal Reid (trumpet, Reseda HS ’64). Mr. Delwarte introduced us in ’61. We began our 33 years of marriage with six weeks in the UK and have been traveling ever since. I taught four years until our two boys (now 28 and 26) were born. We enjoyed long family camping trips—33 states/10 countries. Back to public school music/English in ’85 and also became a Sweet Adeline—I love it! We’ll retire this June to learn golf (since we live on a golf course) and continue to play our horns/direct in our adult bands.
Don Baugh, S-1963
I retired from AT&T after 35 years in 1998 and became the Executive Director of the Cascade Youth Symphony, a group I had been associated with when both of our children were part of it. They are both too old to belong now but I have continued with the group. I am also the web master for the symphony and you can see my work at http://cyso.home.att.net. My wife, Pam, and I have been married 31 years and have two children, a boy and a girl. Tom is 25 and getting his certification for teaching music in Washington. Patty is 21 and is just finishing her BA in music at Western Washington University in Bellingham. Pam is an Equipment Engineer with AT&T Wireless.
Arnie Maine, W-1964
Dan Huppert
Gene Zettle
After high school graduation I attended USC where I graduated with a degree in business. A few years later I went to law school but stopped after a year or so because I hated it. Went back to school and got a degree in interior design. Worked for a variety of companies before I started my own business in 1983. My practice is primarily high-end residential design. I do a lot more than design and decorating because I also have a general contractor’s license. I get pretty involved in remodeling and building for my clients. I am married to a wonderful woman named Susan. We married right after I graduated from USC in 1968. She graduated the same year from Cal Lutheran University. She has taught elementary school all these years. We have no children. Our hobbies are travel, cooking, gardening, reading, bicycling, and anything to do with sports cars, racing and auto restoration.
Margie (Popa) Surber
I am married and we have a son, Andrew, who is 20 years old and is a teachers assistant at a Christian elementary school here in Northern, California. My sister Nora is in China teaching them the love of God and how to speak english.
Margie   Romania2@yahoo.com
Nora  greenegoes@yahoo.com
Mike Newlon, 1964
I live in Camarillo, CA. I am a middle school science teacher, married  for 29 years with identical twin 18-year-old daughters. Oh yes, I have not played the trombone in almost 40 years.
Steve Newman, W-1964
Trombone and tuba
I’m a Television Videotape Editor for KNBC news. I still live in the San Fernando Valley, in Burbank. Married in 1988 to Ann with one daughter, Amanda. Amanda has been playing trombone since 2001. In order to help her learn, I picked up playing again. I now play bass trombone in a community concert band and a big band style jazz band. My belated return to music is not that unusual. It seems a lot of people have returned to playing after a long hiatus. I highly recommend it. It’s a part of our youth it really is possible to recapture! [12/2005]
Tom Denson, W-1964
I have been a public school band director ever since I got out of the Army. Audrey (Chandler Denson) and I are still in California, Riverside, east of LA.
Jef Feldman, S-1965
Snare drum
After graduating from Taft my parents sent me on a trip to Israel, where I got robbed while sleeping on the beach at Tel Aviv and spent the next seven weeks living on my wits and $95. (I had $100, but bought an aluminum drum for $5). In the fall I went to Berkeley, joined the Cal Band, and in my spare time I became a psych major. Ten years later I joined the Ph.D. glut and taught psychology and education classes at a number of state colleges in the LA area. I finally got a real job doing television marketing research for CBS and then for a private firm. Since returning to LA I have also been studying tabla, the hand drums of north India. I have written two books on the subject, collaborating with Indian musicians (see my website at right). About a year ago I got laid off the latest marketing job, and have been doing some more writing on Indian rhythms and teaching the occasional psychology class. I also became an "impresario" and booked a U.S. tour for a classical Indian singer. Married twice, divorced twice. No wife, no kids, two errors. [10/2002]
Marilyn (Foshay) Dillon, S-1965
Flute and piccolo
Longview, Texas. Book and magazine editor, web designer. Just started new print-on-demand book publishing venture. Married to Mike Dillon since 1968. One son, Michiel, who lives in Austin, Texas. Started college as a music major, but graduated with a BA in English from UT San Antonio in 1977. [2/2010]
Peggy (Kinney) Richmond, 1965
I joined the Taft High School marching band late in my senior year of 1965 as a flutist. I moved from New Jersey to California during the last few months of my senior year and graduated high school at Taft. I went on to Pierce Junior College as a music major and left after a year to get married and join a band. I was signed as a recording artist at 19 with my husband, Bill Richmond, (as well as three other musicians, known as “The Sapphire Thinkers”) in the late 1960s, and performed as a professional musician for almost 20 years. I then felt the call on my life to work with children and music and formed a Christian children's choir (Los Angeles Citywide Children's Choir–LA4C). We have been in existence for nine years and just returned from an international trip to England and France in July, 2004 where we performed in the International Children's Choir Festival in Canterbury, England. We have also been invited to pariticipate in the International Mozart Children's Music Festival in Salzburg and Vienna, Austria in June of 2006. Now divorced, I have a grown daughter, Debbie Richmond, who is married to a fellow architect. [9/2004]
Marcy (Mulholland) Schiller, S-1965
Clarinet, bells (briefly), bassoon [9/2002]
Elsie Pettit,  S-1965
Formerly Elsie Wojnar, now divorced, with one daughter, Lisa, age 27, who lives in San Diego. Graduated from the Univ of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.A. in English and a Master’s in Library and Information Science. Spent 20 years at the U of I library. Moved to Nashville 5 years ago, and am now Social Work librarian at the Univ of Tennessee.
William (Bill) Schaaf, S-1965
I was a band member (marching and dance band) from 1963-1965 when I graduated. Live in Orange County, California. Married and have two great daughters. Employed in information technology services for credit services industry. [4/2003]
Joe Beezy, 1966
Clarinet, Co-Drum Major
Went to UC Berkeley durng the colorful years 1966-1970. Was in the Cal Band for one year; it was too grueling and militaristic so I left the band to help ghetto high scool kids. The student volunteer project assigned me (by virture of experience) to help the high school ROTC marching band! Went to Medical School at University of California San Francisco during the still colorful early 1970s. Board-certified first in Internal Medicine then in Emergency Medicine. Currently working in the Emergency Department at Kaiser Panorama City. Live in Tarzana with my trademark-attorney wife, Miriam. We have three children. I still play clarinet and recorders. I am in a Klezmer band that plays twice a year on holidays. I would like those of us who knew him to remember for a moment my co-drum major, Roger Scott.
Craig Bradford, 1966
Sax, tuba, string bass
Retired in 2002. Now a motorcycle bum. I am getting practical in retirement. I am down to only two motorcycles; a BMW and a Kawasaki sport bike. No second childhood for me as I am still living my first. Single again. Two daughters, 23 & 26. Spent 17 years in the Bay Area in the computer biz. Returned to Woodland Hills in 2000 and retired to Tucson in 2003. Vietnam Vet (69-70). Returned to drag racing from 1989-1993. Still having coffee each morning at Starbucks with fellow band alum, Cliff Whipple (66). [11/2005]
Wayne Roten, 1966
Alto Sax
I was born into a musical family. My father, Ethmer C. Roten is a well-respected studio musician and specialized in all the woodwinds at Universal Studios. My mother sang in the opera. From the moment I was brought home from the hospital, all I heard was live music all day. Sometimes it drove me wacko and other times its grace and serenity fused itself into my soul. By the age of ten, I could pick up any instrument and figure out how to play it. I was in the Marching Band for one semester, then surfing took over my life. After high school, I played bass in a four-piece jazz quartet called the "Blue Iguana." We were four young prodigies from Woodland Hills and North Hollywood. Our sax player, Alan Praskin, has gone on to become a legend in Europe. We even backed up Herbie Hancock at the Buddhakon in Japan, through a Buddhist Cultural group called Min-Non. I continued to play at Pierce College with the 16-piece jazz band and continued my education with the alto sax. Today I play electric guitar in a blues group and sell "Surf Art" on the side, along with abstract art. I'm married and have a boy 32 years old and a girl 30 years old. My wife and I reside in Agoura Hills and are semi-retired. My artwork can be seen at http://www.yessy.com/ArtbyUeno/. I miss my days at Taft and the innocence of that era, when the Beach Boys could be heard blaring out of hot cars and the smell of beach waifed through the Santa Ana winds. When I tell other people I went to Taft, they all say, "Taft Ruled." We had a bond whether you were a surfer, greaser or sosh...everybody knew somebody. It was too good to be true.
Vince Banes, S-1968
Since leaving Woodland Hills, I got a BS in Math from Baylor  University. My first job had me touring around Europe for ten years. I got to tear up the German autobahns with my Corvette until I was caught by Hildegard, my wife. We then moved to Silver Spring, Maryland where I now work as a rocket scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
George Kaye, 1968
I played trumpet in the Jazz Band and Orchestra for all three years at Taft. After graduating from Taft in 1968 I attended Pierce for one year and North Texas State University for one year. I then returned to open Kaye's Music Scene, a music store in Reseda, California. I've been at my store for 36 years. I'm married to a former Taft student, Barbara Hallahan Kaye, who graduated in 1969 and teaches English at Canoga Park High School. I have three children ages 19-27. I just found out that Ken Kamp just past away last week after a long battle with cancer. He was a great influence on many of our lives. [10/2006]
David S. Minken, 1968
I played trumpet in the concert band and the marching band. I even carried the Sousaphone for one season, Fall ’67, when we ran out of uniforms. I was also in the Rose Parade. I’m married and a doctor of chiropractic in Los Angeles, on Fountain Ave., west of Vermont. I have a Holistic practice and I’m one of the few chiropractors who uses Advanced Biostructural Correction, a method that stops pain by correcting posture. I’m currently learning 5-string banjo and I pick up a trumpet once in a while to see what I still can’t do. I’ve also been training to be a spiritual counselor at the Los Angeles Church of Scientology.
Tom Newcomb, 1968
I played Tuba in the Rose Parade. Was the only playing tuba player my first year. We had three ‘dummies’: a string bass player, and two others who didn’t play but put on fancy footwork and we had to spell Taft at the back of the band.  I still play a CC and a BB tuba, a euphonium and some viola. Am a computer nerd by profession and served in the Peace Corps in the ’70s. BS in Soil Science from Cal Poly.
Mike Novack, 1968
BA, Broadcast Journalism, U of W, 1972
USAF, C141 Pilot, 1972-1978
MBA, SIU-Edwardsville, 1978
Now have my own software company in the Seattle area. Moving to Tucson in a year or so to play golf a lot.
Richard Schell, 1968
I joined the marching band as a senior just to do something different. I had played the violin for years and was a member of the Taft Orchestra (as was my Brother Ron). Mr. Kamp needed someone to carry the 4th Sousaphone in 1967. It seemed like a waste to just carry it so I took a 3-week crash course from Tom and had a great time playing it that year. Of course, the highlight was our selection to march in the Rose Parade (USC was playing that year and Mr. Kamp was pretty excited). I remember weekends of marching to get in shape for the 5 miles of marching at the parade. I am married to a wonderful lady, Alta, and I have a son and daughter from my first marriage (also a Taft band alumni). Both followed the tradition and were in the Tokay HS Marching Band in Lodi, CA. I have four wonderful grandchildren. I attended Northern Arizona University and graduated with a BS in Forestry in 1975 after completing my military obligation including a tour in Vietnam. I retired in April of 2004 after 30 years with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and 35 years in the fire service. I completed my career as the Chief of Fire Planning and Engineering. Alta retired in July 2003 and has joined me in my part-time consulting business of wildfire loss mitigation, RWS Consulting. We spend as much time as possible in our motorhome traveling this great nation and meeting its great people. [1/2006]
Ward Schmidt, 1968
Played in the Rose Parade 1968. University of Redlands class of 1972. Lived in Hawaii from 1976 to 2004, where I played in the Maui Symphony, some big bands, Maui Brass Ensemble, and helped to start the community concert band. Presently living in a rural town in Japan. Blogging as "Pandabonium" about Hawaii, Japan, and Fiji, at Pacific Islander, and about sailing at Sweet Bluesette. [10/2009]
Wendell Cotton, Drum Major, 1969
Graduated 1970
Clarinet, tenor and alto sax
Married to Nancy Cotton CTO
Ron Haffa, 1969
Married, 1 daughter Living in Kansas [6/2004]
Mike Hickerson, S-1969
Baritone horn
I had such a GREAT time in Marching Band those three years, except for missing the Rose Parade by a weird combination of New Years Eve events! It was the ’60s, so musicians were held in high regard! Post high school, I played in several rock bands and Blood Sweat and Tears/Mad Dogs and Englishmen-type clones that toured the desert southwest and Pacific Coast. In between I managed to squeeze in four years of college at UCLA, San Diego State and CSUN in less than seven years. During this time I got involved with the restaurant industry and also became attracted to real estate finance in the early ’70s, got a license in 1978, did commercial and industrial finance and development,always doing a restaurant at the same time, got married, divorced, and married again (very happily to Laurie for the last 16 years). Now I find myself involved in mortgage banking operations including hedge instruments, concentrating on residential but financing restaurants and other commercial businesses also. Hope to hear from you all. [11/2005]
John Howard, S-1969
BA Computer Science UCLA 1973, MBA from USC 1975. Owner of software development company in Petaluma, California (Sonoma County north of San Francisco). Married to Jeannette with one son Walter. Active semi-pro musician performing with the San Francisco Starlight Orchestra which I founded in 1984, and with the Fourth Street Five dixieland jazz band. Guest conductor for a midwest jazz festival in 1983.
Lynn Tivens 1969
Attended Arizona State University, toured with  pop/jazz band from 1970–1977. Returned to Woodland Hills to work in my father’s real estate investment company. I help manage my 19-year-old daughter’s career as a world class opera singer who has performed internationally. I also publish Southern California’s only online Bicycle magazine called The Full Cycle.
The Full Cycle
ScottNorman, 1969
I’m married with one child and two grandkids, and live in Paradise CA. I am self-employed as a printer and I still play drums. [2/2003]