Singing and playing a trombone in high school was the beginning of the journey, being in band, chorus, and small groups at contest. High school musicals including The Fantastics were fun to participate in as an actor and singer. With encouragement from my parents, I continued with music classes and lessons along with being in the Hawkeye Marching Band while majoring in business at Iowa.
After entering the working world, expectations were the music was going to end. Somehow, those expectations were wrong. Over the past forty plus years, I became involved in madrigal productions performed in Washington and Keota, Christmas and Easter Cantatas in Keota, a community production of Mame in Keota, and several musical productions in the Washington Community Theater. Conducting the Holy Trinity Parish choir for thirteen years and joining the Washington Choral Society for the past ten years have made additional challenges and fun at the same time.
The most rewarding and challenging fun has been time spent playing and singing with musical groups Keota Brass Band and Sheets with Music. The Keota Brass Band includes Roger Richardson on trumpet, Gary McCurdy on Tuba (aka the Tubador), Stan Knipfer on guitar and I play trombone. For the past thirteen years the group has performed music in Dixieland style, songs written in the early to mid-1900’s. The audiences are mostly at care centers, assisted living and independent living facilities within a 60-mile radius of Keota. For the past three years I’ve partnered with Dianna Sheets on piano while playing trombone. Our duo called Sheets with Music performs at care centers and retirement facilities while entertaining with a slightly different musical style. The two groups have entertained at a variety of other functions, including performances for Libertyville Savings Bank, Keota Fun Days, Keota Community Schools, Sigourney Chamber of Commerce, Washington Chamber of Commerce, What Cheer Opry House, Panorama Days in Panora, and the VFW Post in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
Both groups have been a lot of fun, receiving warm responses from the audiences. You know you are having a great day when the listeners get up and dance, sing along or both.
By: Tom Hahn