Girl Scout Troop 71627 Creates DVD about the Cadette Bell Band

Joe Damery takes a break from his interview with Bedford Girl Scout Troop 71627 to demonstrate the glockenspiel - Courtesy imagre
Joe Damery takes a break from his interview with Bedford Girl Scout Troop 71627 to demonstrate the glockenspiel – Courtesy image

Submitted by Bedford Junior Girl Scout Troop 71627

Throughout their second year as Junior Girl Scouts, Bedford fifth grade Troop 71627 researched and created an oral history DVD of the Bedford Girl Scout Cadette Bell Band.  Their efforts on this project were a tribute to the 100th anniversary of Bedford Girl Scouting and earned the girls their Bronze Award.

Editor’s Note: Click to see photographs of Girl Scouts from troop 71267 visiting the Bedford Historical Society to donate their DVD

To learn about the Bell Band, the junior troop visited Bedford resident Margot Iwanchuk, who had stored an abundance of old Bell Band records, including uniforms and photo albums.  The troop soon discovered that another Bedford resident, Joe Damery was the Cadette Bell Band Music Leader and decided an interview with Mr. Damery would be appropriate to learn more about the bell band. In May 2014, Troop 71627 interviewed Mr. Damery, while Leslie Wittman of Stories with a Heart Video Productions recorded the exchange.  He had some very interesting information and stories to share about the Bedford Girl Scout Cadette Bell Band.

The girls learned that the Bedford Girl Scout Cadette Bell Band was started in 1975 in preparation for Bedford’s town-wide celebration commemorating the American Bicentennial.  At its peak, the Bell Band consisted of about 30 Cadette Girls:  15 glockenspiel musicians, 6 snare drummers, and 9 flags bearers.  According to Mr. Damery, the Bell Band name came from the German word glockenspiel when loosely translated is ‘beautiful bell sound’.  Mr. Damery also explained that many local organizations and individuals were very generous in donating instruments to the Girl Scout group to get the band started, including the Lion’s Club, the American Legion, the VFW, the Masons, and the Knights of Columbus only to name a few.  Although the Bell Band no longer exists, the girls discovered that several of the glockenspiel instruments are still in use at the Lane School Music Department.

Mr. Damery fondly shared many of the venues and parades in which the Cadette Bell Band performed including his favorites for the hometown crowds, the Bedford Day Parade as well as the town Memorial Day Services.  Highlights for the Bell Band members were their performance at The Ellipse in Washington DC and their Disney World Main Street Parade performance playing “It’s A Small World”.

The DVD of Troop 71627’s full interview with Joe Damery is available in the Bedford Public Library as well as with the Bedford Historical Society.

MCC logo green The Junior Girl Scouts; their leader, Renu Bostwick; videographer, Leslie Wittman; and grant writer, Caroline Larson wish to acknowledge that this project was funded in a large part by the local Bedford Cultural Council.  This local agency is supported at the state level by the Massachusetts‘s Cultural Council.

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