Band together with FMCA’s Frustrated Maestros.
By David Fuller, F331444
President, Frustrated Maestros Midwest Noteables
The summer rally season is upon us! If you have not attended one of FMCA’s area rallies or international conventions during the warm-weather months or at any other time of year, you are missing out on some of the best experiences offered by the association.
If you have attended a rally or convention in the past, you likely have seen members of the Frustrated Maestros in our familiar “red and whites” performing music at various times during the event, but mainly during the breakfast hours. We hope you enjoy our music and, we promise, it is fun for us, too.
The original Frustrated Maestros chapter was founded by Bob Gobrecht, L14273, who attended his first FMCA international convention in Tampa, Florida, in 1978. He tried to form a group of musicians to play but received only three responses. But that didn’t stop him. At the association’s 1981 summer convention in Denver, Colorado, Bob brought his vision to fruition when the Frustrated Maestros were formed. Forty people signed on for membership. The group gave its first performance at the 1981 Oktoberfest Rally in Costa Mesa, California. Among the first performers in those early days were Bob and his trusty tuba, as well as a flute player and some folks on kazoos.
Bob must have struck the right chord, for today FMCA boasts nine Frustrated Maestros chapters, one in each of the association’s geographical areas. Together they represent more than 500 FMCA members who play almost any known instrument, and many who sing in the chorus. The Maestros have shared their special blend of music and fun at every FMCA international convention since the original chapter’s founding.
The object of the Frustrated Maestros is to allow FMCA members to show off their musical talents and have fun by being part of a musical family. During conventions or rallies, we park together, have a few rehearsals before the rally or convention begins, and then play together during the event itself. Many of us belong to several Frustrated Maestros chapters and schedule our travel plans all year long to attend area rallies in several places along the way. Thus, we make friends within our own chapter and in other chapters as well. Often we find some of the same musicians at each rally, no matter where it might be. That’s fun!
All Frustrated Maestros members receive a recognized “red book” of music and words that we carry with us wherever we go, plus other musical arrangements that each chapter might use for its own rallies. The music normally is performed in unison by both the band and chorus, but parts are available for those who want to showcase their talents. Many of our members are accomplished musicians “” band or chorus teachers, professional performers, etc. “” who made music part of their “day job” when they were working full-time. They now find it a delight to sing and play music without the pressure of working life. The rest of us just love to make music and do the best we can. Musical perfection is not necessary. Our goal is to have fun!
That said, any organization whose membership is largely composed of retired people will, by definition, have attrition issues, and that includes the Frustrated Maestros. For example, our legendary leader, Bob Gobrecht, has health issues that now limit his ability to travel. Despite those restrictions, Bob presses on. He and his wife, Betty, made it to the Western Area Rally in Indio, California, this past January and plan to attend FMCA’s Redmond, Oregon, convention in August.
Jim Honsinger, F166183, another longtime Frustrated Maestros member, retired as a college-level band director but can no longer read sheet music due to his failing eyesight. However, he can play anything by ear on his faithful cornet if he’s given the opening note to help him get in the right key. Jim and his wife, Charlotte, still travel from their Florida home to area rallies in the eastern half of the United States.
The point is, many FMCA members enjoy their experiences in the Frustrated Maestros and continue to participate as long as possible. However, we’re always looking for more folks to share in the fun. If you’re an FMCA member with some musical experience, we encourage you to join us.
As many as one-third of you may have had some form of musical training during your lifetime. That’s a significant number of FMCA folks who might be interested in dusting off that old instrument and playing or singing with us. Frustrated Maestros members all share two things in common: we own a motorhome, and we love music. Some of you still may be musically active as part of a church choir, band, or other music organization. Please, come share that talent with us.
If you are interested in becoming a part of the Frustrated Maestros, please complete the chapter interest form that accompanies this article and mail it to FMCA’s Chapter Services Department. It will then be forwarded to the Frustrated Maestros chapter in the FMCA geographical area in which you live or maintain your address. You will be contacted by that chapter and sent an application form to fill out and return.
Annual dues in each chapter are only $10. Once you become a member of a Frustrated Maestros chapter, you’re invited to participate in any of FMCA’s area rallies and international conventions. Just bring your instrument or voice and join us for plenty of fun. See the “Association Calendar” in each issue of Family Motor Coaching (page 164 in this issue) for a complete list of area rallies and conventions and choose one “” or more “” that suits you.
Should you choose to join us, music books will be available when you arrive. We typically show up a few days early for a pre-rally to rehearse the music together. Rehearsal is a good reason for a pre-rally, but it’s also a great opportunity to see each other again, tell stories, and catch up with one another since the last rally. We hope to see you soon!
FMCA’s Frustrated Maestros Chapters And Charter Dates
Frustrated Maestros Western, 7/17/81
Frustrated Maestros Eastern Sharps And Flats Eastern, 10/12/97
Frustrated Maestros Great Lakes Area Great Lakes, 5/24/92
Frustrated Maestros Midwest Noteables Midwest, 3/22/97
Frustrated Maestros Northwest Musical Misfits Northwest, 9/18/88
Frustrated Maestros Rocky Mountain Rockers Rocky Mountain, 2/15/92
Frustrated Maestros-NE, Yankee Doodle Dandies Northeast, 7/17/96
Frustrated Maestros-South Central South Central, 10/26/85
Frustrated Maestros-Southeast Southeast, 2/18/87
Frustrated Maestros Membership Interest Form
FMCA Membership Number:
City State Zip Code:
Winter Address (if different):
City, State, Zip Code:
__ Chorus Circle: Soprano Alto Tenor Bass
__ Chorus Circle: Soprano Alto Tenor Bass
Please mail this form to FMCA Chapter Services, 8291 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45244-2796. Or, e-mail the information to [email protected]. Your form will be forwarded to the appropriate Frustrated Maestros chapter in your area.