Salvatore Chiaramonte

Sal Chiaramonte

Charter Member and Snare drummer with the Sailing Masters of 1812. When the Corps started in 1963 I was the only member signed up that did not live in Essex, Ct. They tolerated me anyway. I have enjoyed the friends and the fellowship of that Corps. As a member of the Connecticut Jaycees I met the "On to" Chairman for that organization Robert Mello. The "ON TO" committee was responsible for all arrangements to their National Convention for their Connecticut Delegation.

Mello and I convinced them that they should have a musical unit for the Parade of States , but we were told they wanted the Connecticut Hurricanes which came up with a dollar figure so high it scared them. I then proposed taking not one group but two. They were of course the Sailing Masters and our good friends the Westbrook Drum Corps. So it was on to Baltimore for the convention that year. I shall never forget the States Party was being held in the Convention Center and a jazz band was playing Dixie when along came the Sailing Masters with a good old Connecticut Yankee Doodle. We heard the loudest response ever but when it quieted down a bit along came Westbrook with Yankee Doodle and it was just the largest reception we have ever received. The next day we marched in the Parade of States and the reception was just great because many delegates from around the country had never seen a fife & drum unit and in fact the parade judges said they did not have a category they could match us to for a prize. We attended future conventions in Louisville, Kentucky, Atlanta Georgia, and St. Louis, Missouri. They were great parades always long but with great audiences.

There are so many events and parades we took part in that it is really difficult to say what I thought were outstanding because they all were. Utmost for me personally was playing in a Shriners Children's Hospital while doing one of the Jaycees conventions in St.Louis. We played for the young patients and one of them they held up surgery for so he could watch the performance, there wasn't a dry eye in the Corps that day. Then in Louisville we marched past the Kentucky Easter Seal Foundation building and saw young children all holding onto a rope watching the parade, we learned later that they were all either deaf or had various stages of hearing impairment. Later that day we were having a few cool ones after the parade and we decided that the next morning we would go to the Easter Seal building and play for the children there. They had some refreshments for our Corps. and before we left one of the members took off his had and passed it around to the other members and we left a small donation. To this day our hosts the Connecticut Jaycees do not know where we wandered off that morning but it was just a great experience.

In October of 1995 the Sailing Masters went to Bermuda aboard the luxurious cruise ship Horizon and while there we performed in a Beating Retreat Ceremony with the Bermuda Regiment Band. The then Bermuda Minister of Tourism David Dodwell said he would like to see more performances such as this. Well Major Barritt Dill, the Director of Music and I planned another visit in 1997 but this time along with the Sailing Masters were the New Jersey Colonials and the mighty Charles Dickerson Field Music from New Rochelle. This time the trip was made aboard the Horizons sister ship the Zenith and needless to say we were well received both in Bermuda and while playing aboard ship. Next October 6, 2001 the Sailing masters will be heading for Bermuda again and this time on the Zenith. While docked in St. George, Bermuda we will again do the Beating Retreat ceremony with the Regiment Band. My wish is that someday the Company of Fifers and Drummers might see fit to take a few corps over to do a muster there, that would be a great venture and it need not be by cruise ship because there is another alternative.

Cruise Brothers,Inc.
Independent Contractor
Sal Chiaramonte
75 Fairy Dell Road
Clinton, CT 06413-1430
(860) 669-2006 phone and fax

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