2019 PARADE Officers
John Wernega wrote his first musical score for Fralinger for the 2002 Mummers Parade. On Music Director Emeritus Herb Smith’s retirement in 2003, John was elected Music Director. In addition to writing the musical arrangements for each New Year's production, John is responsible for selecting music that is appropriate for each show, as well as making it challenging for the entire ensemble.
John has over 29 years of experience as a String Band Mummer, with 23 years at Fralinger. In 2012, John was inducted into the prestigious String Band Hall of Fame. He has recently relinquished his position as Music Director, but continues as band arranger for the New Year's Day performance.
He primarily plays the banjo and accordion with the band, but has many other musical and artistic talents, such as photography. John is involved in the Philadelphia Ukrainian community, and has sung and performed music in Ukrainian choirs and at festivals.
John earned a Bachelor’s degree in music education at Rowan College of New Jersey and a Master's degree at Westminster Choir College. He teaches instrumental and choral music in the Quinton Township School in Salem County, New Jersey, and he is the choir director at Our Lady of Hope parish in Blackwood, New Jersey.
Born into mummery, Brad has been involved with Fralinger since he was a child. His family has a rich history in the band. His grandfathers, Bill Bowen Sr. and Jack Biondo, uncle Bill Bowen Jr. and father John Bowen are legends in mummer history.
Brad was a marshal for the club in 2006 and officially became a member in 2009.
His first costume was in 2011 when he was chosen to be a dancer.
2019 is Brad's first year as Captain. Brad's brother, Ryan, is an alto saxophone player in the band.
"This is special being that my Grandfather, Bill Bowen Sr. and Uncle Bill Bowen Jr. were also captains of Fralinger. I have big shoes to fill following great captains like Thomas D’Amore and Scott Wray. There’s no better feeling than to be out in front of one of the best bands."
A third generation mummer, Shawn will be marching in his 31st parade and 22nd with Fralinger. Shawn plays saxophone in the band’s dynamic and bombastic Tenor Section, known for their “wall of sound” and graceful technique that drives Fralinger's musical arrangements. Along with assisting previous Music Directors for many years, Shawn has served as a member of the Costume Committee and Board of Trustees (2001-2013).
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be a member of the Fralinger String Band”. This phrase, uttered by Fralinger legend, Joe Quattrone many years ago has stuck with Shawn throughout his time in Fralinger. Shawn thanks the previous music leadership, Herb Smith, Bill Garton, Warren Rivell, John Wernega and Ken Niewinski for creating and continuing the band’s musical excellence into our 104th year.
Looking forward to the 2019 NYD performance, Shawn says “the energy, excitement and work ethic of this band is second to none. I cannot be more proud of the men of Fralinger. This band is a big part of my life and seeing it flourish as one solid Team is nothing short of amazing. Win, lose or draw I take immense pride that these gentlemen trust me to fill the shoes of those who came before me. There is no better feeling than that first note on New Year’s morning. The talent in this band is incomparable”.
Presentation Director / Drill Director
Anthony’s passion for mummery was sparked by his father in 1982, his first year marching with the Clevemore Fancy Brigade.
He has been a member of Fralinger since 1997. A saxophone player in the band, Anthony served on the theme committee from 2000 to 2017 and served as Chairman of the committee from 2003 to ‘17. Combined with a talented committee and an amazing leadership group, the band earned first prize for 10 of those 15 years.
He was inducted into the prestigious String Band Hall of Fame in 2012.
2019 will be Anthony’s 36th Parade. “It’s such an honor to lead the most talented group in mummery as their drill master. The incredible work ethic and dedication of this organization never ceases to motivate and inspire me.”