The Great Dartmouth Jazz Reunion of 2003

The Sumner Mansion

Hartland, VT

Sumner Mansion

On June 3, 2003, a number of Dartmouth jazz musicians gathered at the Sumner Mansion in Hartland, VT, in connection with the 50th reunion of the Class of '53. In fact, we were asked to play for the lobster bake the Class was having on Thursday evening at the Boat House; that was a great incentive to get the chops in shape!

Attending were:

  • Bob Lonsbury, '53, clarinet
  • Frank Amick, '53, soprano saxophone
  • Mike Payson, '54, drums
  • Jim Wheaton, '53, valve trombone
  • Ham Carson (UPenn), sax, clarinet
  • Al Kinney, cornet
  • Tom McCrea, '50, banjo
  • Tom Ruggles, '50, guitar and banjo
  • Ron Thorburn, '51, piano and host

Some of those who were here four years ago couldn't make it: Bob Poor, '53, had pneumonia: Mike Biggs, '54 had a family wedding commitment; and Walt Grevatt, '51, unfortunately, had passed away. Ron Thorburn recruited his old buddy Al Kinney from Akron, Ohio (a member of the Rubber City Retreads) to play cornet, and he was terrific. So, this page is a collection of some of the many photos taken of our 2003 Reunion. Let There Be Many More!

Ron and Mary Louise Thorburn Left: Our wonderful hosts, Ron and Mary Louise Thorburn of the Sumner Mansion, Hartland VT.

Ron led the Green Collegians in 1951.

Below (repeated from 1999): the Happy Acres Band from 1951, missing only Rusty Jackman. From left to right, Thorburn, Poor, Wheaton, Payson, Carson. (See "Green Collegians" page.)

The Sumner Group
Here's some of the group in 2003: from left to right,sitting: Martha Bridge (ex-Poor), Gail Kinney, Ron Thorburn, Louise Lonsbury; standing: Mike Payson, Al Kinney, Jim Wheaton, and Bob Lonsbury.

The Sultans at Rehearsal
The Sultans at Rehearsal in the Library of the Sumner Mansion.

Ron Thorburn at the piano
Ron Thorburn at the piano.

Ham Carson on the Baritone
Ham Carson at the Baritone.

Sultans Front Line
The Front Line at the Class of '53 Tent.

Sultans Rhythm Section
The Rhythm Section at the Class of '53 Tent. The bass player is Dave Westphalen,
recruited for the occasion to replace Bob Poor. That's Tom Ruggles on Guitar.

Tom McCrae at the Banjo
Tom McCrea at the Banjo.

The Band in the Tent
The front line wailing, including Frank Amick
on the soprano sax at left.

Al Kinney on Cornet
Al Kinney at the microphone.

These last photos were taken by Louise Lonsbury. Thanks, Louise!

Well, we all had a wonderful time, and playing music together forms a bond that the passage of time cannot break.

Page and photos by Jim Wheaton. Created August 8, 2003.