Founding Board of Directors
Front row, L-R: Donna Bennett, Donna O’Bryant, Allison Felter, Eileen Schaefers, vice president
Back row, L-R: Kim Scharnberg, president, Pete Goodman, Keith Marks, Carl Trevathan, treasurer and secretary, and John Parker (not pictured)
The All-American Alumni Band began in January 2019 when a group of eight McDonald’s All-American High School Band alumni began to meet regularly via conference call. The group’s goal was to one day return to march in the Macy’s Day Parade. A formal proposal to reactivate the use of the McDonald’s name for the new alumni band was made to McDonald’s Corporate Headquarters, but permission was not given. Thus began the All-American Alumni Band and plans for an inaugural gathering in St. Louis, Missouri on Labor Day Weekend 2019.
Forty-two alumni from 28 states participated in the national debut of the All-American Alumni Band which was presented in a free, public concert by the Compton Heights Concert Band led by founder and president Harry Swanger. On September 2, 2019, under the batons of AAAB members Pete Goodman (MI), Donna O’Bryant (TX), and Kim Scharnberg (IA), the All-American Alumni Band performed at the Shaw Bandstand in historic Tower Grove Park. After an overwhelmingly successful first outing, plans were made to perform in Columbus, Ohio on Memorial Day Weekend 2020 and to return to St. Louis for Labor Day Weekend 2020. Both engagements were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In May 2020, the All-American Alumni Band became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is led by a Board of Directors also known as the “Mc8.” The Band continues to work toward the goal of marching in a future Macy’s Day Parade and performing as a concert and marching band in cities across the nation. The AAAB is also dedicated to fostering and nurturing the art of instrumental music through partnership, education, and performance.