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Vernon Band beats to third generation drum

Girls Trumpet Band is in its 75th year with new drum major
Vernon Girls Trumpet Band director Donna Cornell puts a sash on new drum major Chloe Towpich ahead of a performance at Shoparama Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

The sound of a live band filled the air outside the Vernon Recreation Centre during Shoparama Saturday, Dec. 3.

The Vernon Girls Trumpet Alumni Band performed live, as they’ve done in past years during Shoparama, which sees dozens of vendors fill the rec centre auditorium with tonnes of goods that are perfect for Christmas gifts.

Saturday’s performance by the alumni band was special; it was the debut of the band’s new drum major, 15-year-old Fulton Secondary student Chloe Towpich, who is a third-generation band member as her mother, grandmother and cousin were past band members.

The drum major plays the role of keeping everyone in the band in line. It’s a key position, directing the band where to go, when to stop and start the songs and what songs to play.

Towpich’s grandmother is cousins with the former director of the band, which is how she got involved.

“She called me up one day and wanted me to be the leader because she thought I had potential,” she said. “I was like sure, that sounds great!”

Towpich admits it’s “a little nerve-racking” being the band’s new drum major, but says it “feels special” to be the band’s young leader.

“We’re kind of passing the torch to the next generation,” said band director Donna Kornell, who added that women from ages 75 to 10 are participating in the band.

The band has been keeping busy, having recently played at Fintry, the Armstrong IPE, Falkland Stampede and Lumby Days.

The band is currently in its 75th year.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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