Alumni Registration
SYB's 50th Anniversary Reunion Concert in William Land Park.
SYB's 50th Anniversary Reunion Concert in William Land Park.

We need your help in finding out about you and locating fellow Sacramento Youth Band Alumni.


Our purpose in gathering Alumni information is to reconnect to the people who WERE the Sacramento Youth Band, to form an information network, and to build a base of "Band Supporters" to help SYB continue into and through the next 50 years of presenting music to the public, but mostly to offer a fun and educational musical experience to young musicians in the Sacramento Metropolitan Area.


To register as an SYB Alumni, just click the Add Your Profile box below and complete the attached form. Only the boxes with an asterisk are required, but feel free to add your personal thoughts as well.


In addition, please join our Sacramento Youth Band Members, Alumni, and Friends Facebook group! 

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Any and Aaaalllllll SYB Alumni

The 50th Anniversary Reunion Concert was a smashing success!!!!  A great turnout for a wondeful day/evening of fun.  Lou was in great form.  And the band.....what can I say, it gave me goosebumps.  Thank you Russ for starting this back in '57!  What memories it brought back.  I closed my eyes and felt like I went back in time to the good old days where this was almost a weekly event.  Did I see Groucho Marx at the concert?  I'm sure I did.  Anyway, GREAT JOB everyone for pulling this off.  Having done many of these type shows in the past, I know just how much work it can be and my hat is off to all the members, parents, alumni, volunteers and everyone else who made this evening possible!      Now...that being said... calling aaaaaalllllllllll Sacramento Youth Band Alumni who have not entered their information on the SYB site to to add your comments, shout-outs, pictures, gossip, stories...whatever to this alumni page.  We want to hear from ALL of you!!  Spread the word!  Secret Alumni  
What year(s) were you in SYB?: Forever
What instrument(s) did you play?: You
Have you used your musical talents since participating in SYB?: Some
Other Talents & Experience: Many

Don Abel

Then photo
Marital status: Single
Occupation: Software Development
Started playing trumpet in the 4th grade (1963) and took private lessons from Russ. Joined the band that following summer. Went to the 1965 music camp led by Bill Nicolosi at Camp Sacramento. Member of Youth Band for about 10 years. Russ certainly knew how to choose fun music to play. And super kudos to the dedicated and warm Ray Gaither...such an example! Growing up, my favorite thing was being in the Youth Band! So many great memories and friends, including Nancy and Danna Balser, and my motocycle buds Richard Anderson and Paul Gregory. - - - - - - Moved to San Jose after graduating Sac State in Computer Science (software). I've continued to play my horn, in musicals and church orchestras, a community concert band (28 years) and a trad jazz band (5 years now). Attended (as listener) every Sacto. Jazz Jubilee since its inception. Never-married, no kids. Enjoys volleyball, biking, photography, movies.Thanks for posting the great memories, Rich.  He's now asked me to post some of mine ...- The excavation team headed by Richard Anderson to dig out the snowmobiles so we could ride them.- The cages at Santa Cruz (rock 'em over enough times to be listed on the leader's chalkboard).- Speaking of Santa Cruz, the Wild Mouse roller coaster where a certain Rich A. tried to make it to jump the track (humph!).- The older Allen Transportation Buses, where the seats were low enough where you could actually talk with the bandmates in front of you.  Along with the rotating seats for the card games.  And gaining access to the locked buses by pressing on the knob in front.- We traveled to Santa Barbara in the night, and were supposed to sleep on the bus...yeah, right!- ... then on the way back we visited Hearst Castle, where Rich A. tried to pick some gold from one of the swimming pools.- Bill Nicolosi and his blank gun at Camp Sacto. and later at parades when the drum major "dropped" his whistle and the band became disorganized and shook hands with the audience, until the gun went off and we raced back into formation.- The dedication for the groundbreaking or opening of the Convention Center (SYB did one, Kennedy Band did the the other; forget which was which).- Playing at the Veteran's facility in Yountville, and eating in their cafeteria afterwards.- Trying to march in the Chinese New Year's parade in San Francisco, what with the pressing audience and firecrackers being thrown out of windows.- And speaking of San Francisco, marching in the absolute worst place in a parade.  No, not behind the horses' entry.  But actually behind the street sweepers, aka the end of a parade!  The audience had left, and we couldn't avoid the horse excretions that were spread all over the street.- At the Columbus Day Parade in SF, having thought we were the only band with Black Saddle, in the staging area another band played it, and we promptly played it back at them, better, of course!  And the left trombone guide fainting on his horn.- After the Artichoke Festival Parade in Castroville, eating at a 4-nationality buffet  where Don Abel tried to pass off a glass of water mixed with soy sauce as a coke ... and the waitress actually took it, put it back on her tray, and gave it to Jan Laing!- Remember our bus chants of "food" or "McDonald's"?  And seeing the look of fear in the faces of the food people as two busloads of musicians pulled into a Giant Orange?!- Getting to hear the Vanguard in a post-parade exhibition at YMI's Santa Clara Parade of Champions.- At the end of the Lodi Grape Festival Parade, being given roast beef sandwiches (later years, hot dogs) and sodas as we entered the fairgrounds (and sneaking thru the line a second time).- Playing Black Saddle on the grounds of the Stanford Hospital in a surprise visit to Russ as he was rolled out in a wheelchair with his eyes bandaged...I'm thinking that our visit was part of a miracle of God that contributed to his recovery from blindness.=============================
What year(s) were you in SYB?: 1964-1974
What instrument(s) did you play?: Trumpet
Have you used your musical talents since participating in SYB?:
Played trumpet in: community musical theater productions, big bands, church orchestras, San Jose Metropolitan Band, South Bay Stompers Jazz Band
Other Talents & Experience:
I've posted some photos in the 1970's and Reunion Photos Albums. Take a look.

Felicia Alleger (Greenwood)

Then photo
Now photo
Marital status: Married Children: 2
Occupation: Music Teacher, River City High School
I was music director from winter 1995 to fall of 1997. I was just starting the credential prgram when I got the job, so it was my very first professional conducting! Those were very good times. I really enjoyed the band and the musicians. I remember the parents being incredibly supportive too.
I hated to leave, but found that being a first year teacher is VERY difficult and time consuming. Within a year I would meet my (now) husband and become a step mother too.
Now I am in my 10th year of teaching, I am a mother of two and still avidly ride horses in my (ha!) spare time. I have played or had my students play in every Jazz Jubilee since 1990 (currently, The Syncopating Sea-Monkeys). I teach two bands, two choirs and piano class.
I am happy that this web site has been constructed and look forward to seeing everyone at the reunion! :)

Michael Alvarez

Marital status: Married Children: 3
Occupation: Regional Manager
I was in the Sacramento Youth Band between 1965 uand 1969. I played a copper bell trumpet that my daughter Irene Alvarez also played the same trumpet in the Youth Band (1987/88).

My fondest memories in music was with the Youth Band. I enjoyed the marching and trips most of all. We need more people like the Klein family and all the band supporters. I still have the original bell copper trumpet I started with although not played for many years.

The Mayor of Sacramento needs to be at the upcoming reunion. The City of Sacramento need to honor the many who have contributed to this lasting organization. We all need to continue supporting this organization which is a foundation for youth confidence and opportunity.

Richard Anderson

Then photo
Now photo
Marital status: Divorced Children: 4
Retired Air Force officer/pilot. Currently work as a Principle Systems Engineer for Air Force Space Command in support of satel
Ok all you alumni.  Are you ready for a trip through time?  Most of this came from a scrap book my Mother, Minnie, made for me.  I filled in some 'little known facts' from memory.

--July 1965:  Camp Sacramento.  Monster hunt with Marcus Selby (he jumped into the river/lake to get away from the monsters).  The fire hose in one band member’s cabin.

--September 1965:  The 'Run-On' for the half-time show we played at Hughes Stadium.  Oakland Raiders vs. the Denver Broncos.  Al Davis' third year as head coach.

--1965:  Lodi Grape Festival.

--May 1966:  George Sim Park dedication.

--September 1966:  Parade at the 'Old' State Fair Grounds on Stockton Blvd.

--Dec 1966:  Disneyland's Fantasy on Parade.  Remember the drums in the tunnel?  Allen busses?  Trying to sit next to someone who didn't bug you for the marathon trip?

--Dec 1967:  Disneyland again.  Rip Van Winkle Inn. Playing the drum solo from Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida on the walls of the motel room.  Trying to sneak into the girls rooms on the second floor and not get caught by the chaperones.  And, again, trying to score a seat on the bus next to someone you liked....preferably of the opposite sex.

--May 1968:  Harry Renfree Field Dedication.

--July 1968:  Stage Band Clinic in Reno, Nevada.

--December 1968:  Opening of Bob's Christmas Tree Land.

--June 1969:  Played in downtown Sacramento parade honoring the Apollo 10 Astronauts, Stafford, Young and Cernin.  Also met their plane at the airport and played for them.  Also present were Governor and Mrs. Ronald Reagan.  

--September 1969:  Played on the Delta King and Cal Expo (played on the mini-rail tram).

--January 1970:  Performed in Redding for the Redding Teen Center.

--May 1970:  Jumping Frog Jubilee in Angels Camp.  

--December 1970:  NHL game in Oakland between the California Golden Seals and the Detroit Redwings.

--November 1972:  Mother Goose Parade in San Diego and Disneyland again (this time we flew!).

Who can forget:

--All the concerts at William Land Park?

--The Annual concerts at the Memorial Auditorium where, during breaks, we would explore all the nooks and crannies of the auditorium to include being on top of the ceiling catwalk looking down on the crowd.

--The Corinthians Color Guard!

--The fanfare from 'March of the Olympians 1964' (by the way, if anyone has that music for 1st, 2nd and 3rd trumpets, let me know)

--Showing up to Monday night practice early in hopes of seeing someone you liked.  

-- Roaming through Haight-Ashbury after a half- time show at Kezar Stadium (SF 49ers vs Oakland Raiders, I think, but not quite sure)

--The 7.5 mile Columbus Day parade in San Francisco where we were dropping like flies.

--Black Saddle, Basin Street Blues

--During boring parts of parades, a few of us would start playing the 'Hogan's Heroes' march and the rest of the band would  join in (really ticked off Russ but he rarely stopped us from doing it).

--Having to keep one foot 'posted' when we were put 'at ease' during parades.

--The overnight trip where we all slept on the gym floor...girls on one side....boys on the other (I don't think the chaperones got much sleep that night)

--Selling Red Devil Fireworks every year.  Trying to figure out just how far from the stand you had to be to 'test' some fireworks to see if they worked OK.

--Dick Gury, Ray Gaither

--'Twirling' the trumpets on the cadence during parades. (losing a mouth-piece on one twirl...ugly)

--Friends (Paul Gregory, John Z'Berg, Don Abel, Larry Gury, Cindy Callan (sp), Vicky Z'Berg, Bob Schmidt, Steve Yee, Larry Gury, Linda Laing, Beverlee Buckner, Linda Carlos and too many more to mention)

--The sad passing of Ted Michel in an automobile crash.

Whew!   If I remember any more, I'll update this list.  
What year(s) were you in SYB?: January 1965 to March 1974
What instrument(s) did you play?: Trumpet (Guitar in the stage band)
Have you used your musical talents since participating in SYB?:
Coloma Elementary, Sutter Junior High, Sacramento High and Sacramento City College (concert, marching and stage bands). Quit playing trumpet in 1974ish. Kept playing piano and guitar (mostly John Denver type music). All my kids played in school, Kasey-clarinet, Kristen-flute, Jeremy-drums and Kieley-flute.
Other Talents & Experience:
Ski Instructor with Paul Gregory at Soda Springs Ski Area in the 1976/77 and 1977/78 era, retired Air Force fighter pilot. Highest education level: MBA. Currently live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Drop me a line. There's always time for old friends. (719) 533-0526,

Minnie Anderson

Then photo
Now photo
Marital status: Widowed Children: 2
Occupation: Mom, Grandmother and Great Grandmother
I would like to say hello to all alumni, parents and members alike.  Those years were so much fun.  We all made so many friends and shared many memorable experiences along the way.  I really miss those years.  I hope to see many of you at the reunion concert.  My 'Now' picture is with 4 of my 5 Grandkids (Rich's kids).  Feel free to drop me a line.  My email only accepts text messages.    
What year(s) were you in SYB?: 1964-1976
What instrument(s) did you play?: Parent - Concert Treasurer/Chaperone/Historian

Dannie Balser

Marital status: Divorced
Occupation: musician/teacher
SYB 1969-1974. Currently professional trumpet player and teacher Stockton U.S.D, 19 years

Corky Barnes

Casey Bennett

Marital status: Married Children: 3
Occupation: Machinest, HVAC Specialist, and Student
Casey passed away 2 years ago and will be missed.  After checking with his wife, as his sister I am entering some information on his behalf.Casey was in the Navy in submarines during part of the Vietnam Era.  Married Shirley Byrnes, they were married for 33 years.  They have 3 daughters, Shannan, Holly, and Ariel, and so far 3 granddaughters Alyssa, Dorian,  Lily, and a 4th on the way in October or November.  All his daughters, were exposed to the Clarinet at some point.Casey and Shirley moved to Woodland, CA.  He worked as a Machinest, and as a Heating and Air Conditioning Specialist.   He also was a graduate of Yuba College and finished his Junior year at UC Davis.  Member of Mensa. Casey loved building radio controlled Model Air Planes and flying them.  Was into Animals, Volunteered at the Sac. Zoo. and fed the Hawkes at UC Davis.  Loved Reptiles and dogs.  He had a green thumb, worked in his garden.  He had many hobbies.He enjoyed the SYB Band.  Music was a big influence on him.  He and his best friend, Norman Papini were always into something.   We both took lesson from Russ Kline Music on Franklin Blvd.  March in many parades, played in many concerts and generally had a good time.
What year(s) were you in SYB?: 1964 to 1968
What instrument(s) did you play?: Clarinet
Have you used your musical talents since participating in SYB?:
Casey could play most anything, but in particular picked up the guitar for his own pleasure. Ask his daughters he also loved to play "Queen" loud early in the morning.

Karen Betancourt (Laing)

Marital status: Married Children: 4
Occupation: privite music instruction