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The Passing of a Kiltie

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I was in the stands Saturday night with another ex-Kiltie Alan (Aldo) Cunningham and my family when Joel went down. At first we thought that he had just tripped and fell. But it became painfully clear that it was serious very fast. We sat there dumb founded and in shock. We are still in shock today. We left yesterday morning and missed finals because we just did not have our hearts in it after what happened. That the Kilties decided to return and march their show (it was a 100% vote by the corps) was one for the history books. It was one VERY VERY emotional show. We cried thru most of it. I won't comment on the score they received because after what happended to Lothar it just wasn't important.

Aldo and I stayed up till around 3:00am this morning listening to that show and remembering Joel. I don't think we'll ever listen to the Kilties again without thinking of Lothar. I know that he's marching in the perfect corps now and that his Kilt will fit in with every other great uniform that's being worn on that big field in the sky. Lothar will be greatly missed by all of us Michigan "trolls" that have marched with him over the years. WWBD!!!

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Joel was a talented musician. He really developed over the years from an old school balls-to-the-wall horn player into a soloist of finesse and skill - due in large part to the tutelage of Jerry Kelsey. I appreciated Joel's input into my playing because he was honest. That honesty shown in his humor as well. He was incredibly funny because his sharp intellect met his childlike spontaneity when he spoke. As children say the darndest things, so too Joel. He was humble with a spirit of jovial welcome, often encouraging those around him.

It is said, "You don't know what you've got 'till it's gone". Gone is the character we knew as "Lothar" (an abbreviation of lothargic, that stuck from his Junior days). Gone is his deft humor that with one word, aptly placed, could double-over an entire corps. Gone is the gifted Mellophone player, an affable, welcoming soul that reached out to others and never put on aires.

" Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind? "

A wisp of Joel's memory will ever linger with the strands of Kilties' Auld Lang Syne.

- Derek Harmon

Kilties Competitive Corps Charter Member '94-98

Minnesota Brass '99-'00

Kilties '04

Edited by Brassop
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One of Kilties' instructors has already submitted a tribute that I'll run this coming Friday in the Fanfare column at www.dci.org.

Thoughts are with all who knew Joel.

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I am really sorry to hear about your loss.

My thoughts and prayers are with you!

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God bless him and his family, along with the whole Kiltie organization!

May God bless him and his family along with the entire Kiltie organization.....


Triple Forte

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Just wanted to add my condolences to the Kiltie organization. Lothar's collapse on the field Saturday night was a stunning blow to all of us watching the show.... I can only imagine what the members of the Kilties were going through.

Over the years, we've all seen various references on these Internet forums to the "Kiltie brotherhood" and so forth. Saturday night, I realized what all that meant. What the Kilties did.... returning to play their show again after the tragedy on the field...... was an unforgettable display of character, courage and sheer determination. I salute the Kilties. May your corps live forever, and may Lothar rest in peace.


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To Lothar my Kiltie brother.. may you Rest in Peace.

My heartfelt condolences go out to Joel's family and my Kiltie Bretheren.

Thank you Kilties for returning to the field and putting on an emotionally charged magnificent performance. The corps was absolutely fantastic!



Alan Cunningham

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