Music Students Get Instruction from Daddy

Photos by Isiah REYES
Photos by Isiah REYES

By Isiah REYES

Members from the swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy held a music clinic for Glendale Unified School District students at Glendale High School’s auditorium on Feb. 18.

The five members from the band who presented the clinic were trumpet player Glen Marhevka, trumpet player Anthony Bonsera, sax player Karl Hunter, trombone player Alex Henderson and baritone sax player Andy Rowley.

“For the [students] to meet five people who actually do this for a living and play these instruments, which [are fewer and fewer] people, may inspire some to stay with it and help them in the long run to be more successful,” Anthony Bonsera said.

The band played different parts of their set to show the proper way to play in harmony. They also played the wrong way to demonstrate how not to play. The students then had to figure out who was playing incorrectly and why.

Marhevka talked about the different styles of music that influenced them. One was the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which Marhevka said is known for its traditional New Orleans style. Throughout the clinic, Marhevka played recordings of different musical styles for the students to hear.

After the clinic was over, students asked questions of individual band members and received autographs. They were also allowed to play different horn instruments that were on display.

In 2013, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy celebrated the 20th anniversary of its arrival onto the music scene. They appeared in the 1996 film “Swingers” and their music has appeared in such films and television shows as, “Despicable Me,” “Friends,” “Third Rock from the Sun” and “Ally McBeal.” They also performed at the Super Bowl XXXIII halftime show.

Marhevka currently mentors the Glendale High School jazz band as part of the Verdugo Woodlands Father’s Follies. He has scored arrangements for the band and assisted them in pre-show rehearsals. He also encourages people to play anywhere for anybody when starting a group out.

“Convince your parents to let you play in your backyard,” Marhevka said. “Do whatever you can to get that experience.”

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