AHS alumni band returns this summer

Published 5:46 am Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A well-known revival band plans to march through Austin this summer — but not before scouting out a few new, and old, members.

Following a two-year hiatus, the Austin High School Alumni & Friends Marching Band is back in business.

And band leaders are out looking for AHS alumni and friends to join their ranks.

Flag corps member Jeni Lindberg, class of 1973, said that everyone — regardless of marching band experience — is encouraged and welcome to join.

“It’s just a great time,” she said. “If you don’t play an instrument, you can hold a flag.”

Practices:

10 a.m., Saturday, June 26

10 a.m., Saturday, July 3

*Practices begin at the main gate of Wescott Field

To RSVP or borrow an instrument, contact:

Duane Distad, 437-6754

Jeni Lindberg, 433-4557

Vern Lippert, 433-5835

The marching band performs at the Fourth of July parade, and holds two optional practices prior; this year they will play the theme song of Hawaii Five-O and possibly Hogan’s Heroes, which organizers called easy music.

Trumpeter Jon Bednar, class of 1975, said it can be fun to make the band a family affair.

Bednar once marched with his father, then 75 years old, and two sisters.

The band was formed in the late-1990s and has had between 50 and 75 members each year, organizers said. The group disbanded when directors had to step down because of other commitments.

Despite a mail and Facebook reunion campaign which started this February, said class of 1972 trumpeter Duane Distad, the band hasn’t heard from many people looking to rejoin their ranks.

Tim Davis, director and trumpeter, is not an AHS graduate and is one of the founding members of the band. He said some may not realize the band is open to everyone, and is not limited to AHS grads.

There are instruments available for those who do not have their own, and people can opt to play the one performance rather than permanently join the group.

In past years, AHS alumni who now live as far away as Austria have dropped in to play while in town.

Band members are given tee-shirts, though some do opt to wear their old high school uniforms, Lindberg said.