In an effort to recognize and honor alumni who’ve distinguished themselves by freely giving their time and talents to The Pride Alumni, we wanted a way to thank them.
In mid-2008, the Pride Alumni committee met and established The Pride Award. While not given each year, this award is a way for The Pride to thank the recipients publicly in a ceremony during the Preview of Bands show in August at Clifford Stadium.
Each recipient receives a Pride Alumni crystal award etched with their name and receiving year of the award for their home. The recipient’s name will also be inscribed on The Pride Award commemorative plaque that hangs in the trophy case outside of the band room.
2017 Jim Kierstead (1952 - 2016)
This year’s Pride Award is being presented posthumously to a 1970 Tiger Band alum who carried the same dedication and pride for musical professionalism learned as a member of the Pride of Cuyahoga Falls as he studied music at Ohio University and the University of Massachusetts, where he played saxophone. His appreciation and love for marching bands were evident as he spent 39 years as a drill assistant at the University of Massachusetts Minuteman marching band and participating with The Pride Alumni. During many of the years, he was recognized as having traveled the furthest from his home of Windsor, Massachusetts to participate each summer in the “Parade of Bands”.
2016 Scott Curfman
The 2016 Pride Award honors an individual who is universally admired by both the current Tiger Band and the Pride Alumni. He has mentored countless students in both secondary and post-secondary schools, always demanding the best his students could produce and getting them to stretch just a little bit more. Before joining the tiger band as director in 1991, he taught in Copley-Fairlawn, Rittman, Nordonia and Firestone. After a 13-year run as Tiger Band director, in 2004 he became the director of bands at Kent State University directing the Marching Golden Flashes, Flasher Brass basketball band and teaching conducting and marching band techniques.
While directing the Marching Golden Flashes he stepped in to take over the Pride of the Pride when director emeritus Bob Feldbush retired – returning to work with post-post secondary adults.
Most recently he reworked the Pride’s marching block, and his continued and tireless efforts over the years are a testament to the continued professionalism he brings and demands of the Pride of the Pride.
2015 Ron Wahl
The 2015 recipient of this award honors a 1966 graduate of Cuyahoga Falls High School, who remained within the community as a public servant and tireless supporter of the Falls music programs. He remains a stalwart anchor for the drum line and marched with the alumni band in nearly every Preview of Bands show for the Pride Alumni Band for over 40 years.
2014 Michael Corbissero (1937 - 2015)
The 2014 recipient of this award is well known to many within the Falls music programs, as he has served nearly 30 years as a Falls music educator. Recently, he penned these words about the Tiger Band; “Most of us, if not all, have seen how the Scarecrow receives his brain, the Tinman his heart, and the Cowardly Lion his courage. When you “Made” the Tiger Band, you received trust, knowledge, and pride. You learned to trust yourself, to trust the other members of the band. From that trust grew knowledge, knowledge of who you are as a person. Knowledge that you become better as an individual. From the trust and knowledge grew pride. Pride in yourself, pride in the uniform, pride in what you had become.”
2013 Dean Sterling (1924 - 2014)
The 2013 recipient of this award is a 1943 graduate of Cuyahoga Falls high school, a former Falls city services manager, the Tiger Band announcer from 1972-1982, and the Pride Alumni announcer from 1994 to 2004. His genuine love for the kids, this city, and the Tiger Band program exemplifies his selection for this award.
2012 John Walk
The 2012 recipient of The Pride Award exemplifies these characteristics. Every band needs a beat, and without this Pride Alumni’s contribution today, and from many years ago, both the Tiger Band and the Pride Alumni would be without one. Written in 1971, the “JW” ushers the Tiger Band and the Pride Alumni in unique and distinctive style.
2011 Susan Madigan
Sue was a Falls student who, in 1969, convinced then-Tiger Band director Bob Feldbush that an Alumni Band was needed. What started as a very small group playing at the “Preview of Bands” show gradually grew into the organization that it is today; marching in multiple community parades, performing annually in the Preview of Bands, and supporting the Cuyahoga Falls Instrumental Music Patrons. Sue has served for many years on the Alumni Committee and has always been there when needed.
2010 Robert H. Feldbush
The 2010 Pride Award recipient is certainly no stranger to any of us. A former Tiger Band director and former Pride Alumni Band Director, Bob’s contribution to our history is well documented. In 1969, he created and founded the Pride Alumni Marching Band and his involvement continues today as a musical consultant and arranger.
2008 Tom Cunningham (1955 - 2009)