In junior high Stan Handman ’55 played saxophone and clarinet. “I was big-time horrible,” remembers Stan, owner of the Lynn, Massachusetts-based Trusty-Step International, which makes slip-resistant floor coatings. “No sense of rhythm whatsoever. I was almost thrown out of the band, I was so bad.”
In the last decade, however, Stan and his wife Penny have found their musical home: The UMass Minuteman Marching Band. The couple travels to football games all over. While the Handmans enjoy watching the team play, the real attraction is “The Power and Class of New England” under the direction of George Parks.
“It’s just a thrill to hear the band,” says Penny, a curriculum instructor at the Robert L. Ford K-8 NASA Explorer School in Lynn. “They give us such pleasure.”
At Annapolis in September, the band gave a surprise pre-game performance of “Fight Mass” and other numbers for those in the alumni tent. Likewise, at the installation of President Jack M. Wilson at Symphony Hall in Boston, the 350 band members came marching down the aisles from everywhere. Both experiences were “so emotional and amazing,” Penny says.
The Handmans want to ensure that the music plays on. In their will, they have included a bequest to benefit the band. “If you have an appreciation for the band or anything else at UMass Amherst, they deserve your support,” Stan says. “It’s a world-class institution.”