One day I met a lady who had a jacket on that said Guitar With Gloria. Curious I asked "What is Guitar With Gloria?" and that was the start of a conversation you should hear. The lady, Gloria Hoffner told me her story of having been a journalist for many years for Philadelphia Newspapers. As her career in the field of journalism started to wind down, Gloria like many folks wanted a new career in a field where she could earn money but enjoy herself doing something she loved. Having been in a band in high school and being in love with music much of her life, she decided to explore her options in the music field. She started a business called Guitar With Gloria where she would offer her services to sing at nursing homes and assisted living centers throughout Delaware County. Although her business grew rapidly she continued to volunteer her time as a member of the Chichester Alumni Band. Curious again I asked "What is the Chichester Alumni Band?" To which she answered:
"The Chichester Alumni Community Band's members are graduates of Chichester and is open to everyone who ever played in a high school band. We have members from Notre Dame, Sun Valley, Cardinal O'Hara, Swarthmore - a great mix of wonderful people.,
Here is the back ground....Kathryn Forwood started the Chi high school band in the 1950s when she was hired as a choral teacher. Her life long dream was to be a band leader but she had to fight West Chester University who told her "you can't take conducting classes because there are no women band conductors" and later the high school who said "there will be no woman band director at this school". She pressed forward, started the band and after she retired the school named the auditorium in her honor.
Later at a reunion, her former students came together and formed the Chi Alumni band to play and surprise her. They later decided to stay together as an alumni band. A few years later at the request of community residents who did not attend Chi, the band added "community" and welcomes all former band members of any high school. The band also has a band front.
The band plays a concert once a month at a local nursing home, a summer outdoor community concert in Marcus Hook and participates in local parades. The band presents a scholarship each year to a Chi grad majoring in music in college.
Our director Audrey Murphy, is a graduate of Chi, and has her masters in music. She directed a high school band in Delaware and is now retired." said Gloria.
"Wow!" I replied. "This sounds like a great activity for senior citizens and retirees in the community and they probably don't know anything about it".
So if you are looking for a fun group to get involved with, the Chichester Alumni Band might be for you. If interested, contact: Jason CollisonPresident and Percussion Captain of the Chichester Alumni Band at: DrummerJMC@comcast.net
The band welcomes new members!