Thursday, May 10, 2007


Making Music

It's been a bit since a post, for which I apologize. Spring fever has really hit campus with wonderful weather and everyone seems to be getting ready for the final stretch run of this final quarter of the academic year.
The Board of Trustees will hold its second meeting of the year on campus Friday and everyone seems to be buzzing about budgets, our Riverpoint strategy in downtown Spokane and overall campus safety in light of last month's tragedy.
On that note, a little musical note about how some fine EWU students are lending their talents to the Eagles Lodge on the north side of town...helping to bring to life an old tradition. This is from the SR.

Eagles Lodge band making music through the ages
Cindy Hval CorrespondentMay 10, 2007

Music spilled from the doors of the Eagles Lodge. The sounds of trumpets and clarinets, along with the steady patter of drums, swelled and echoed down the hallways.
Each Monday evening the 27-piece Eagles Lodge concert band meets to practice. The emphatic strains of Sousa marches mixed with ebullient patriotic songs reverberate through the North Side Lodge.
Band director Rod Roberts, 80, has brought new life to this group. Established in 1948, the once-vibrant band had declined over the past few years. "We lost members due to the Grim Reaper," Roberts said with a rueful shrug. "But there's still a lot of talent in this group."
When Roberts took over a year and a half ago, he began actively recruiting new members. His efforts paid off with the recent addition of two Eastern Washington University students.
Freshman music major Amanda Reynolds was urged to join by fellow EWU student Jonathan Smith. "I wanted a band experience outside of school," said Smith, a tuba player. He said playing the bouncy, up-tempo music is a lot of fun.
Reynolds agreed, saying, "It's neat to see people from completely different backgrounds and careers doing this because they love to make music."
The Fraternal Order of the Eagles has a rich musical history. According to their Web site, the organization was founded in 1898 in Seattle, by six theater owners who met to discuss a musicians' strike. The Spokane Lodge was the second Aerie established and is now the only Lodge with its own band.
Percussionist Richard Cummings detailed the many contributions of this group in his book, "The History of the Eagles Band of Spokane Washington." He notes that, throughout the years, the band has been a staple at community events and has won numerous honors and awards.
Harold Hurmence has been a member for 46 years. "I started playing the trumpet in fifth grade," he said. "I like playing with this group. We're active, and we all know each other."
At the front of the room, Roberts tapped his baton and led them into a rousing rendition of "Burst of Flame." As the last notes faded he said, "Well, yer gettin' better!"
Band president and saxophonist Gina Sloan was one of the first women to join the group 24 years ago. "At one time, my husband, my son and I were all in the band," she said. "There's not many activities you can all do together."
Phil Kowzan found a renewed love for music when he married a clarinet teacher. The Vietnam veteran and retired truck driver said, "I played the trumpet in grade school. When I graduated, I hung it up and didn't play again." His wife, Carol, encouraged him to resume playing. Now, they are both in the band. "I love being with the music," he said, "and the challenge of trying to make something pretty."
The group is working hard preparing for an important event. Thousands of members from all over the world will converge in Spokane in July for the Eagles International Convention.
Toward the end of the evening, conductor Roberts said, "Playing music keeps me active." He paused and grinned. "In fact, it almost wears me out."

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?