The annual South Tama Alumni Pep Band Night was held recently with 26 alumni attending. All were encouraged to join and help "rock the gym during the home basketball games".
Band Director Mike Carnahan encouraged alumni saying, "Regardless of how many years since you graduated, We want you! Don't play your instrument much anymore? No problem! This is a really fun event and has been growing each year. It also serves as a fantastic lesson for the current band students to learn, that playing a musical instrument is something you can do for the rest of your life!"
Alumni came from Cedar Rapids, Ames, Marshalltown, Pella, Cedar Falls, Oskaloosa, as well as the Tama and Toledo area.
Members of the South Tama High School Alumni Pep Band perform during the basketball games at the gym.
One of the high school students, Tony Cervantes, Class of 2013, said to one of the alumni, "I didn't know you played!"
Some of the alumni were heard saying things like: "The notes look really small!" - "I was surprised at how many notes I remembered", - "I remember a different version of the school song a simpler one", - "33 years have passed and people still look the same."
Alumni Lori Dixon Johnson, Class of '80, stated "Had a lot of fun tonight sitting next to the "most experienced", Cindy Zmolek Hill, Class of '77, and next to Wes Kaufman (who covered up all my mistakes!!!), class of '81. I still think we played a simpler version of the school song, maybe that was just my version. .. . LOL!!! It was also awesome to be able to play with such talent at the high school level as well!! Am proud to call my Pep Band Alumni, I could actually remember how to play some of the notes!! Thanks Mr. Carnahan and STC band members for the memories!!"
Alumni Cindy Zmolek Hill, stated "Well, it brought back lots of memories for me from my Pep Band days back in the late 70's. It was just as fun today as it was back then, only with different music. I enjoyed playing next to a very nice young saxophone player who helped me along with the tunes I didn't know. Will definitely do it again next year--only have one question--what happened to the standard pep band song--25 or 6 to 4 by Chicago?"
And, "Well, I will admit I was the longest standing alumni there last night. It was a BLAST!! So, come on out STC alumni--next year we need to top the 26 and us "more seasoned" Alumni need to show those young ones we can still play--even after 35 years!! Thanks Mike & Pep Band for inviting us all to come play. You have a GREAT band!!
Alumni Wes Kaufman, Class of '81, "I think we did have simpler arrangements; I remember the print to be larger, too. Could be just the bifocals. Pleasure to play." Wes also plays in several bands in the Cedar Rapids area in his spare time.
Alumni Matt Upah, Class of '11, "Always love coming back and seeing people I may not have seen in quite a while. Plus it sounded pretty freaking awesome."
Even though Kathy Arp, Class of 77 wasn't able to participate she shared "While I didn't make it this year, I was there the last two years for the alumni nights and it was an absolute blast playing with the kids. They have always been so nice to us "seasoned" alumni. I wish there were more nights that alumni could come to play along!!"
Michelle Evans, STC Alumni as well, but was attendee of the ball game stated "you guys sounded great. Thanks for playing! (I go to many away basketball games.... and many schools have no pep band, and most, if they have one play 1 qtr of girls game then 1 qtr of boys...) we are so fortunate to have them there for much longer and it was especially nice to have a band for the whole game.!"
Carnahan and those that made comments after the performance said that "Music is powerful!"
Follow the STC Alumni Pep Band on Facebook for next year's event.