Foxcroft Academy Honors 1971 Award-Winning Dance Band

September 3, 2021

This account of the evening was written and submitted by Sean Stitham, Class of 1972.

As part of Foxcroft Academy’s 2021 Alumni Weekend, members of the 1971 FA Dance Band gathered to commemorate their win of the 1971 Northeastern Jazz Festival at Berklee College in Boston. The tape of the live 1971 performance at Fenway Theatre was resurrected and played over the new top-notch audio system installed at the refurbished Central Hall.  12 of the surviving 16 players attended. Many related the impact of music on their lives and in particular, the influence of the director, Robert Thorne, who was at FA from 1960 to 1976. Four of the band members subsequently obtained degrees in music.

Attending were: Jeff Glover, Jeff Love, Greg Love class of 1974; Norma Tardy, Russ Hewett, David Hamlin, class of 1973; Bruce Robinson and Sean Stitham, class of 1972; Robin (Vulner) Merrill and Bart Merrill, Linda Gammon, and Debbi Hardy, all class of 1971. Unable to attend were Anne Gagnon, ’73, Ernest Wright, ’72, John King and Chris Lind, class of 1971. Deceased members Barbara Noyes ’73, Richard Stone ’73, and Robert Mountford, Jr., ’72 were also acknowledged.  Mr. Thorne was able to speak to the audience over the phone, which is included in the video. Afterward, the Alumni Jazz Band performed excellently for dancing on the Central Hall dance floor.  Sean Stitham, ’72 introduced the members of the band.

In addition, here are the audio recordings from the 1971 performance available on YouTube. It’s a great trip down memory lane!