If you have read our blog in the past year then you know one of our most favorite things is the Star City Syndicate, the 19 piece horn band we play with. Now the only thing about the group that is somewhat a bummer is that, being a 19 piece horn band, we need quite a bit of physical and acoustical space to play. If we are in a place too small it’s not good for anyone’s ears just due to the amount of sound that we put out. We also just have to be able not only fit 19 members but also the equipment (mics, music stands, monitors, subs, amps and so on…). Basically the real ideal place for us to play is on an outdoor stage. But since we live in Northern Maine that means we don’t get to play a ton during the winter months (or 10 months out of the year as it seems right now!).
Normally we use this down time to learn new songs and refine charts we already know. But fortunately this year we’ve already had the opportunity to play three gigs! All three of them at different venues to very different crowds. The icing on the cake is that all three them were for different purposes that each of the band members are passionate about. One gig for our favorite “hometown” crowd, one for music advocacy in some local schools, and the last in memory of our former band mate and friend.
We started our season in a little town known as Oakfield. While none of the members in band are actually from Oakfield we all feel this is where we call “home”. The story is actually pretty long but basically we had a gig scheduled in Oakfield that almost got rained out. In fact there was a HUGE thunder storm rolling in. We had to choose to either relocate (remember how we are 19 members?) and play in this old church or call off the show. We decided the show must go on and rocked the walls of the old church to one of the best crowds we’ve ever had. It was the first moment we felt we really clicked as a band and became a “family”.
Also the Oakfield crowd is really fun! They decorated the stage with our favorite inflatable mascot… the dragon!
Our next day of shows were played to a bunch of elementary, middle, and high school students. There are quite a few music teachers in the Syndicate besides Jenna and I so it’s easy to see that getting a chance to show how much fun music can be to students is something we are all about! We played two shows that day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, to some very awesome kids!
The last show we’ve played so far was part of a fundraising event for a fund made in memory of our former band mate Larry Hall. Larry was one of most kind and generous people you could even know. The band wanted to continue with Larry’s love of giving kids the opportunity to learn the love music. We set a small goal for this concert – to raise about 1000 dollars to start the fund. When all was said and done we ended up with over 5000 dollars! Due to the generosity of people Larry’s legacy will continue for many years!
Now this is just the start of our musical summer. We don’t play again till May (as long as the snow is gone…) but the energy we have from these first three shows should hold us over. If you want to see where and when we are playing head over to our webpage!