SALEM - The official title is the "Class of '66 turns 66" and the party is set for July 5 at the Salem Saxon Club on state Route 9.
The evening begins with a 5:30 meeting conducted by class vice president Ron Whitehill when plans for the 50th reunion in 2016 will be formally discussed, according to Dr. Joe Shivers.
He said the idea for the '66 turns 66 reunion popped up in 2011 at the last class reunion.
"Of course we use every excuse to get together," Shivers said.
The open to the public party, heavily reliant on class of '66 musicians, begins at 8 p.m. Cost is $10 per person. The people behind the scenes moving this event includes Whitehill, Joe and Cindy Rottenborn, Cathy Cantwell Melitshka and Cheryl and Gary Kekel and Shivers.
Shivers said while '66 has classmates who have made contributions in many careers and areas of life, music was a particular area of achievement for a number of them including Polly Lease, now Polly Fraser DeMaggio; who after leaving Mount Union College had a Top 20 hit with the "Glass Bottle" to Bill Lindner who played the lead in the traveling Broadway musical Cats.
Gary Kekel became a music arranger for Maureen McGovern including her giant hit "The Morning After," the love theme song for The Poseidon Adventure.
Charles Alexander made a name as a musician as did Bob Huber, who, according to his Facebook page "works at independent bass - baritone for the San Francisco Symphony Chorus," Shivers noted while Dorrill Catlin, Jim Miller and Joe Rottenborn extended their musical talents for years along with Cheryl Kekel through a music company and the Salem Community Theatre.
So there have been many. Shivers pointed out there were three high school "garage" bands with class of '66 members including the Edgewood Five, The Markees and the Swinging Pendulums.
Here is what the evening schedule looks like:
- Gates to the Saxon Club pavilion will open at 5 p.m.; class meeting at 5:30. Ron Whitehill will lead a discussion about plans for our 50th Anniversary Reunion in 2016.
- Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. with a menu including barbecued chicken breasts, potato crepes with butter and onions, green beans almandine with Portobello mushrooms, pasta salad, tomato and pepper salad with Italian dressing.
- At 8 p.m., the public will be invited at $10 per person when Gary and Cheryl and friends take the stage to kickoff the music.
-At 9 p.m., the music will be provided by various classmates and friends and anyone interested in joining the band for even a couple of songs
The Saxon Club will provide a cash bar. Any money after expenses will go toward the Class of 1966's 50th anniversary reunion and its scholarship fund.