Volume 18 • Issue 38 | February 3 - 9, 2006

Community band seeks players who toot their own horns

In the ever-shrinking world of community bands, a tuba player is a rare and precious commodity. “Nobody wants to play the tuba ‘cause it’s really big and your boyfriend or girlfriend tends to leave you ‘cause it’s kind of obnoxious,” said Tom Goodkind, conductor of the TriBattery Pops Community Band. “But the blood and guts is in the tuba. You need it for the real kicker.”

Mounting their yearly search for a tuba player, a drummer and all manner of brass and woodwind, the TriBattery Pops is reaching out to Tribeca and Battery Park City’s musical resources to ensure a year’s worth of kickers and community-centric “goofy” musical fun. “We’re not talking about getting into a Lou Reed-type mood here,” said Goodkind. “Our stuff’s about as deep as a baby’s wading pool. It’s completely Midwestern and it’s as tongue in cheek as the fake gazebo in Washington Market Park.”

But the band isn’t all fluff. After 9/11, Goodkind says that Tribeca/Battery Park City developed into a small town, and that for core community members it’s now impossible to leave: “9/11 gave the community much more of a heart, and hence cheesy junk like this band just started growing itself.”

In addition to instant entre into the community, new members have quite an event lineup to look forward to: they’ll perform at the Irving Plaza opening, the Clearwater Festival with Pete Seeger and the Tribeca Family Festival, to name only a few. Plus, new members will play on the band’s annual CD. “They get their name on it, it’s really hot,” said Goodkind.

He adds that when the band gets together, the current 15 members, who range in age from 9 to late-60s, “generally talk most of the time and then we play a few songs. It’s almost no work at all for the band members and they become instant stars.” The profits from the CD go to the Church Street School for Music Children’s Scholarships.

Interested musicians can contact the Church Street School for Music and Art at (212) 571-7290 or e-mail Goodkind at TomGoodkin@aol.com.

— Alex Schmidt


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