After 35 years with The Cavaliers, Jeff Fiedler retires from the corps and becomes CEO for Santa Clara Vanguard. Read what he plans to do with this new position. For the questions and answers that appeared in the print magazine, click here.
Halftime: You were recently hired as CEO for Santa Clara Vanguard. What does this new position entail?
Fiedler: It’s a little bigger organization. … It supports a number of performing organizations. There are two drum corps, a winter color guard, a number of dance programs, and they also offer a number of things musically that aren’t necessarily related to drum corps.
Two months after I retired, I was in the middle of my search for an institutional advancement position, and there’s sort of a parallel between what the Vanguard does—and really all of drum corps—and institutional advancement.
It’s about engaging the alumni and the families and the community into what you’re doing
Halftime: What do you bring to the table for the Vanguard?
Fiedler: It’s twofold. Obviously it’s the successful drum corps experience, the length of time I was with The Cavaliers. There’s definitely an impact with that experience here. With the Cavaliers there was a lot of success in a lot of ways. We may be able to apply some of those concepts and know what might be successful or might not be successful. The learning curve might not be as steep for some of those things. It also gives me some credibility, obviously.
And then my other background with private high school for the past 10 years.
Halftime: What are your plans for the corps?
Fiedler: They have some things laid out, and I want to make sure that’s executed well. I want to give them some thoughts and some vision on where to take things.
Also, just to develop the alumni and community sense, the recognition in our own community. The Vanguard travels all the time so they’re not always around. We want the community to know what the Vanguard’s doing not only when they’re in California, but also when they’re in Utah, Texas, Florida.
[I’ll be] developing partnerships out here and working to solidify the organization.