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After Hours Big Band

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Twenty years ago I was hired to run a university basketball pep band. It was a small branch campus and there was no music program.
Here’s what happed: I had a few students in the band, but most of the players were adults and because the former director had started the band as a jazz band, we had a library of big band music, not pep band music. A couple years into it, the university, as many did, started selling the time-outs and half-times for advertising, sponsored on-floor games, and give-aways, which left us with very little time to play. (I know it’s hard to believe, but musicians just want to play music!) So in the summer between the end of the second year and the beginning of the third, we met at a local coffeehouse to discuss trying to make it on our own. Most of us thought it was a pretty dicey proposition and probably wouldn’t work out, but we all wanted to try. We kicked in money for new music, started scrounging for more, and found a place to practice. That was twenty years ago and we’re still here gigging, recording, working hard, making good music, and having fun together.

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