Dotty Hayes ’72 ’76G, Vice President and Corporate Controller for business and financial software giant Intuit, has high praise for the Minuteman Marching Band. “The band gave me a focal point; it became my little village,” she says. “Everything I did emanated from that.”
Serendipity brought Hayes to the band in the first place. Upon hearing that she would attend UMass Amherst, Hayes’ friend from home, Dick Bartolomeo ’71, said “you will be attending band camp, won’t you?” Dick signed her up and Hayes instantly found her community.
Hayes’s first instrument was the piano, but pianos aren’t marching band material, so her biggest asset was that she could read music. Hayes became a utilitarian percussionist, learning to play the xylophone and the marimba, eventually joining Peter Tanner’s marimba ensemble.
Marching Band taught Hayes how to be organized. She was an education major (and later earned an MBA), but she spent most of her time at the Old Chapel, essentially pursuing an unofficial minor in music. She worked with Walter Chesnut and the orchestra and chorus, and joined small theatre and vocal ensembles. To fit it all in, she learned how to squeeze the most out of every available minute.
Hayes’s memories are lasting and vivid. In her freshman year, the band played a Simon and Garfunkel medley that as she put it, “blew [director] John Jenkins away.” He hadn’t been exposed to music of that style before. “Michigan High Step,” a tour de force of athleticism and musicality introduced by John Jenkins, was, Hayes admits, a physically demanding adventure. But the memory that sends her into gales of laughter whenever she thinks of it is the tuba strip dance in which Massachusetts State Senator Stan Rosenberg ’77 took part. To the score from Gypsy, the musicians shed their instruments—no mean feat—and seemed to do a bubble dance. “It all was such good, clean fun,” says Hayes. She says she always carries with her the image of walking across campus at twilight to the Old Chapel where, inside, she felt so much at home.
Her exposure to music through the band’s varied repertoire has been invaluable in her participation, along with her husband, Terry, in local Bay Area choral ensembles. She especially remembers her music appreciation class with Ron Steele, who on the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving would lecture on one of the more obscure American composers, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, to a near-empty classroom. Steele always included a question on Gottschalk on the final exam.
Hayes is thankful for the lasting impact the Minuteman Band has had in her life. “Music becomes what you are when you’re not being what you do for your day job,” she says. So while Hayes keeps the finances harmonious at Intuit by day, she hits her highest notes far from the corporate world.