As part of our 20th anniversary celebration in 2009, the chapter newsletter editor asked several of the founding members to share some comments with the rest of the chorus. These are their stories.
I’m a Charter Member who joined in January 1989. My first Contest was April 1, 1989 – and I’ve been in every one since (except one Badger contest in ’97 to witness the birth of my son, Nick). Also, I’ve been at or in every show performance (except maybe one or two. Not bad for 20 years!). I haven’t missed a single Division, District, or International competition in which the MVE performed.
The special thing about the MVE is that a group of regular guys – no stars – can come together and just sing so well. We can be entertaining to the point where we make a difference. We can touch someone’s heart for a moment. Even as a regular guy, you can still make such a difference through the power of the group.
I have so many favorite memories. The one that sticks out is 2003 in Montreal, the Green Army Set. We drew the first performance position for the International contest that year.
Beforehand, our bus was slowed due to a parade, and we were late arriving at the contest site. We were running like crazy to set up; on top of that, the contest officials wouldn’t allow us to use our smoke machine (at first). The rushing around made everyone sweat like crazy inside our green plastic suits, and we were all frantic. One of the toy block pieces was missing, and I ran all the way back to the loading dock in my socks to get it!
My heart would not stop racing. Finally – the curtain goes up. I’m frozen in my toy soldier position, eyes closed, feet glued securely to my platform. The audience applauded forever, just from seeing us. I was crying.