And welcome to our first effort to communicate better with you, the TABA’s membership, which is made up of former members, family, and friends of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. For those of you that don’t know me, I’m the TABA’s newly elected president. I’m a member of the Class of 1978 and, after more than 26 years in the Army, I now live here in College Station with my wife, Mary. I want to thank those of you attending the biennial TABA’s Membership meeting in November for having the faith in me to lead this important organization over the next two years. I hope I can live up to your expectations.
As I mentioned above, this is our first effort at better communications with the membership. In the past, we have communicated with you through a yearly paper newsletter. Well, the new Board determined that was no longer adequate. We want to deliver more timely updates in order to give you a better idea of what the TABA is doing for the Band and, in general, keep you informed of the Band’s activities as it continues to represent Texas A&M University in ways no other organization can. So, you’ll see these e-newsletters on a more regular basis in the future.
One of the first tasks the Board has undertaken is to develop a survey that will be sent out to the membership, hopefully by the summer. The intent of the survey is to receive input on what the membership would like to see from the TABA. As you know, the TABA’s main purpose is to support the Aggie Band and do everything within our power to see that it remains a vital part of Texas A&M. We intend to continue that mission, but the Board wants your input as to how you would like to see that done and we want some input on how we can better serve our membership. We know that many of you would like to see more reunion bands; others would just like a forum to enable get-togethers at a tailgate or other venues, as a sort of mini reunion. Well, the intent of the survey is to get your input. So, when you see it show up in your email inbox, please take the time to fill it out and return it to us.
In an effort to provide better support to our membership, let me tell you about a couple of events that we are working on. You’ll hear more about them in the future, but we wanted to alert you to them now:
Rally to the Guidons – As most of you know, the Corps of Cadets Association inaugurated a yearly event where former members of the Corps of Cadets return to Kyle Field and participate in the March In before one of the football games. Rather than march in as outfits, the CCA marches in as classes or groups of classes. It has been a really successful event, sponsored by USAA. Many of you have participated in this event in the past and enjoyed it. Recently, the CCA established a new policy where if a particular outfit has more than fifty former members participate, they can march in as an outfit. The Band missed that mark last year by less than five members. We didn’t get much advertisement out, but want to do that now. We want to march in at the head of the rest of the former Corps as the Band always has. So, the coming year’s Rally to the Guidons is on 20 October when A&M plays LSU. Our plan right now is to have an event on Friday night or on Saturday after the game where we can all get together and renew old friendships and start some new ones. We know that tickets are going to be hard to get, but we hope that some of you will come just to participate in the March In and attend the social event. In the future, our plan is to expand the event to include instruments and truly lead the CCA into Kyle field.
Events for the Current Band Members – As many of you know, we hold banquets throughout the academic year for each class. At each event we have a guest speaker who tries to provide some sage wisdom and we provide the cadets with some significant gift. The most memorable of these each year in my opinion is the fish BBQ we hold in September where we give the fish a picture of the “Block T” from their first drill at Kyle Field and a copy of Dr. Don Powell’s book The Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. I wanted to let you know that all active members and former members of the Aggie Band are invited to those events. We would love to have you attend. We normally put an announcement on our website where you can RSVP that you are going to attend and pay for your meal. In order to let you know when the fall events are so you can put them on your schedules, the fish BBQ is 18 September and the Junior Banquet is 15 January. As we finalize the other dates, we’ll let you know.
That is probably enough for this first letter. As we try to communicate with you more than in the past, I’ll have to write more of these than my predecessors did. So I don’t want to go overboard on the first one and not have anything to say in the future. Please don’t hesitate to contact me and the rest of the Board of Directors through the website. We are here to serve the current members of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band and the members of the TABA. We solicit your input on how to do that better.
Don W. Bailey ‘78