Monday, April 28, 2014

First Instrument- Patty Scansy

What was Patty Scansy's First Instrument?

When I was 5 years old, a neighbor girl would let me play on her piano.  Occasionally, she would give me a lesson.  When I was in second grade, I really wanted to take piano lessons.  My parents were hesitant because money was tight and they were afraid that it was just a passing phase.  They told me that if I still wanted to take piano lessons in third grade, they would consent.  After the first day of third grade, the only thing I came home with was the paper to enroll in piano lessons.

I continued with piano lessons through my junior year in college, but piano was just a starting point for my musical career.  In fifth grade I began playing the cello and in seventh grade I took organ lessons and became one of the organists at my church.  Since our high school did not have a string program at the time, I started playing the French horn.  Eventually a string program was started in the high school and I started playing the cello again as well as continuing with the French horn.

I had always wanted to be a music teacher and so I attended the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh and majored in Instrumental Music Education.  I was a French horn major with a piano and cello minor.  After graduation, I came to Green Bay and taught Instrumental Music in the Green Bay Public Schools for 34 years.  Throughout those years, I also played with the Green Bay City Band, The Heritage Hill Silver Cornet Band and was a church organist.  I am now retired, working part-time for IMC and playing French horn in the Allouez Village Band.

I am thankful that my parents consented to those piano lessons in the third grade.  The piano gave me such a wonderful foundation for all of my music studies and opened up a world of opportunities!

Monday, April 21, 2014

First Instrument- Kevin Baker

What was Kevin Baker's First Instrument?

"I started playing my first instrument- the drum set- in the 4th grade. One of my older brothers was in a band with his high school friends.  They practiced at our house, so I got to watch and listen.  I was in awe of the drummer and knew I wanted to be like him.  The band left their instruments at our house, so three of us Baker boys would mess around on them.  The first song I learned to play on drums was “Talk Dirty to Me” by Poison.  I knew right then that someday I would play drums on a big stage.  I started formally learning drums the next year in 5th grade band and have been playing them ever since.  I may not have made it big, but I have had the opportunity to play some big stages…and make a little money doing it.  Wouldn’t trade that experience for anything."

Monday, April 14, 2014

First Instrument- Chuck Iken

What Chuck Iken's First Instrument?

"Technically, when I was 4 or 5, my great-grandmother had an old upright player piano (affectionately known in the industry today as a “boat anchor” because of its extreme weight)  I used to sit at the piano and pick out tunes.  By the time I was 10 in the mid-1960’s, my parents purchased a Lowrey electronic organ and I started taking lessons. If you ever watch “That 70’s Show” you get the picture of the organ in the living room like so many families had in that era.  I took lessons for about 4 years and also started in the summer before 7th grade in the school band, playing the saxophone which I still play today. While I did not have any major accomplishments playing the electronic organ, I did play as house organist for the first Bart Starr’s Rawhide Telethon c.1966, playing fanfares for totals.  I also played keyboards in high school for my Chicago cover band, “The Approaching Storm”.  We marginally made enough money to pay for the equipment we used, which is not unusual for an 8 piece band.  I continued playing the sax, studying with Wayne Jaeckel and Lovell Ives at UW-Green Bay and recently finished my 38th year as a member of the CP Telethon Orchestra.  A 13 year veteran of the Green Bay Packer Band,  I have also played dozens of shows for entertainers including The Manhattan Transfer, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Lou Rawls, Johnny Mathis and Shari Lewis to name a few."