April 26, 2011By: PR Comm
This week on Of People and Plumes, we’re featuring our Master of Ceremonies for the Cal Band Spring Showcase, Stuart Thompson!
Stuart is a 3rd Year Linguistics Major here at Cal and hails from Piedmont, CA. In Cal Band, Stuart plays the Trumpet, but is also the resident comedian of Cal Band.
Stuart chose comedy because “I’m fascinated and terrified by people. Comedy helps to reveal the truth about them.” He further elaborated “Linguistics has been an alternate way to understand why people do what they do. I would’ve done Psychology, but the papers were shorter.”
Growing up, Stuart used Trumpet as a kind of side project because “Nobody gets really good at it until 8th grade.” Instead, Stuart was really interested in Soccer and played for the entire year between Club and High School Teams. Stuart hoped to take Soccer all the way to the MLS, but eventually fell in love with Comedy in College and looks to make that his career. Thankfully for Cal Band however, Stuart still plays on the IM Soccer Team and helped lead the team to a 3-2-2 record.
With Comedy, Stuart has really found his niche. “It began in March of 2009 when a couple of brothers from Sigma Phi Epsilon took him to the Brain Wash, a Café/Laundromat with Open Mic night on Wednesday and Thursday,” says Stuart. “After performing, I quickly got hooked on the idea of immediate gratification or saying something funny and having people laugh at it.”
“It all boils to down to controlling the way people laugh at you. In elementary school, people laugh at others, often for the wrong reasons. If they laugh for the right reasons, you’re next to the Gods on Olympus. Either that or I have some deep seated Freudian issues.”
Around California, Stuart has performed at a number of venues from the Purple Onion in San Francisco, Rooster T. Feathers in Sunnyvale, 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley and the Comedy Store in West Hollywood.
Be sure to come out and see him this Friday at 7:30 at our Spring Showcase! He’s also headlining a show at the Purple Onion the next day, Saturday, so if you’re interested, here’s the link for tickets: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/148427
Check out a link of him performing here: Stuart Thompson
And as always Go Bears!
April 22, 2011By: PR Comm
They may look like any ordinary high-steppers while they’re on the field, but switch out their reeds for guitar picks and you’ll have a full-fledged rock band! Tenacious Oski is comprised of Cal Band’s Bryce Townsend (guitar, vocals, alto sax), Griffin Hosseinzadeh (electric bass, trombone), Cailin Sakaue (keyboard, vocals, piccolo), and Alex Beagle (percussion). Past members include Cameron Shernicoff and Remo Lopez.
At their inaugural performance at the 2009 Spring Show, Tenacious Oski played “Tribute” by the band they were cleverly named after, Tenacious D. Last year they entertained us with a medley of their favorite songs from the shows we marched during the season. And this year? Well, you’ll just have to come and see! If you’d like a sneak peek, head over to Last Sunday’s Fest on Telegraph at 5:00 this Sunday. The Straw Hat Band will also be making an appearance, and there will be Spring Show tickets and other Cal Band merchandise available for purchase.
As always, Go Bears! Rock out!
April 19, 2011By: PR Comm
Come one, come all to the 2011 Cal Band Spring Showcase! As the semester begins to wind down, it is the time of the year for one of Cal Band’s most beloved traditions. The Cal Band Spring Show began in 1968 and continued yearly until a brief hiatus in 2003, but it was revived in 2008 and has occurred annually since then.
This year’s Spring Show will take place on April 29th at 7:30 pm in Haas Pavilion. Student tickets are $5 presale and $7 at the door, and general admission tickets are $10 presale and $12 at the door. Spring Show allows Cal Bandsmen to showcase their various talents, and the acts will range from skits to rock bands and from ensemble groups to improv comedy. Our very own Stuart Thompson, a soon-to-be very famous stand-up comedian, will be our MC for the night, so you definitely don’t want to miss this! We will also be raffling off a football signed and personally addressed by Coach Jeff Tedford, a brand new swim parka from the NCAA Champion Women’s Swim Team, and a signed volleyball by the Women’s Volleyball Team. All proceeds from this event go directly to supporting the Band.
We will be tabling everyday on Sproul Plaza by Sather Gate if you are interested in buying a presale ticket. Tickets are also available at tickets.berkeley.edu and at the Student Musical Activities office, 72 Cesar Chavez Center (basement level). If you have any questions, call the Cal Band information line at (510) 642-3436 or email Kristina Smith at email@example.com. Here’s the link to our Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=117231365022673
We hope to see you there! Go Bears!
April 14, 2011By: PR Comm
Two of our biggest events of the year are coming up…on the same day! Cal Day and Picnic Day are happening this Saturday, April 16th. We are super excited for both events and would love for you to come out and hear us play!
Cal Day is UC Berkeley’s annual open house with lots of fun events all around. You can attend a lecture, visit a museum, take a tour, and learn more about Cal Band! We will be tabling by Sather Gate right past Sproul Plaza. Make sure to come check us out and fill out an interest form if you are interested in becoming a Cal Bandsmen next year. We will be playing three times on Cal Day, beginning at 8:30 for the New Student Welcome, 10 at Pauley Ballroom and Sather Gate, and then at the Noon Rally on Sproul Steps with Cal Dance Team and Rally Comm.
Picnic Day takes place at UC Davis each year and we always participate in a Battle of the Band with the Aggie Band-uh, Stanfurd Band, and other bands in California. Picnic Day is also a special opportunity for ambitious Cal Bandsmen to try arranging a piece of music for the band to play. This year, our featured songs are “All of the Lights” by Kanye West, “Winter Winds” by Mumford and Sons, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by the Darkness, “Resistance” by Muse, “Hypnotize” by System of a Down, and “Piece of Mind” by Boston. We get to play through our entire packet of songs and play with other bands, too. If you are in the area and can’t make it out to Cal Day, be sure to come check us out at Picnic Day! We will be there from about 2 until 7. Here’s a video of us playing “Don’t Stop Believing” at Picnic Day last year.
We hope to see you at one of these fun events! Go Bears!
April 12, 2011By: PR Comm
This week’s bandsman hails from Valley Springs in Central California. Dennis Dunnigan, a first-year clarinet, grew up in a home on 20-acres in a small town. As an Eagle Scout, he raised pygmy goats and swine in 4H for 5 years. His family – to whom he remains very close – raised their own chickens for eggs and grew their own vegetables.
“Coming to Berkeley,” he says, “I hadn’t had store-bought eggs for five or six years!”
Dennis came to Cal a pre-med, planning to become a pediatrician, but has since switched to chemical engineering. He hopes to become a chemical engineer after graduation, then to pursue a Master’s Degree in Business Administration so he can work his way up in an engineering firm.
Dennis’ passion for music reaches back to the fifth grade, when he first picked up the clarinet. Since then, he has added alto and tenor sax, oboe, and piano, as well a bit of piccolo, trumpet and baritone. In high school, he formed a “Solo and Ensemble Club,” in which he helped place other students into musical ensembles. The groups would travel to competitions, and twice won at the regional and state level. (One of the judges at the regional competitions was our very own Bob Calonico!) Here at Cal, Dennis hopes to pursue music further as a Music Minor and by tutoring through The Music Connection.
Besides music, Dennis’ other passions involve various types of sports. He ran track and cross-country all four years of high school, captaining both teams his senior year. At Cal, he tries to run several times a week, and hopes to run every day during the summer. He aims to run a full marathon before the age of 25.
“Running has a lot to do with life,” he explains. “You can learn a lot about life from running and you can learn a lot about running from life.”
This year, Dennis will increase his involvement in band as both the Director’s Assistant for the first clarinets and as the editor of the Photo Phone Roster on Secretary’s Committee. He looks forward to his participation in both these positions and to continuing to forge relationships with his fellow bandsmen.
“Every time we get together I’m meeting more people,” he says, adding, “I’m looking forward to building friendships with everybody this year!”