This PCEP band went to the 3rd Central Ohio Jazz Festival in 1980 as the defending champs of the 1979 Central Ohio Jazz Festival High School division.

In 1979 the program kicked off with a rousing rendition of "Spain" By Chic Corea. This kicked off at a really fast pace and the band nailed it! Next was a challenging exercise in meter called "Doing Time". It was a interesting piece with many odd meter changes. I can't recall exactly ,but there was no 4-4 going on in this chart. I think it was the most difficult to get down and was part of the reason we won. For the finale, we hit hard and fast with the Charlie Parker tune "Moose Da Mooch" as transcribed from the Bill Waltous recording by Plymouth alumni Ralph Johnson. Under the able direction of Carl Battischill, this bebop classic took swingin' at a ferocious pace. Solo's on trombone by John Upton and virtuoso Mark Thrasher on alto sax were awe inspiring.

OSU Jazz Festival 1980Thrasher's ability at bebop was ( and I'm sure still is ) as comprehensive as Sonny Stitt or Jerry Mulligan and when he threw in a little "Hail to the Victors" through the turn we showed Ohio State University that the Plymouth MICHIGAN band was here to kick butt and take names! Clinching 1st place meant we were elevated to perform on the night program with the top college band ( Michigan State University) and The Phil Woods Trio.

As we began the evening awards show, Mershon auditorium was packed with all the musicians from the days festival. We were in the main performance facility and all individually mic'd. I remember thinking as Carl B. counted us off that this would be the most special performance I had ever been part of. Well, we smoked the program again and as we finished, the entire auditorium rose to it's feet in a standing ovation. It was at that very moment that I thought, remember this, this is what every musician lives for. If I never get that feeling again at least I had tasted it once.

After that we returned in 1980 to place third and I don't recall what we played. Most of the band returned except Chris Kepke and Greg Housman on Trombone, Rodger Annison on tenor Sax and Kathy ? on alto.

The band played a few weddings and took a trip to Interlochen and Beulah Michigan that year. We had a great time. After we graduated Carl Battischill got us together with some other alumni, Greg Etienne, Betty Delano, Bill Steele, Steve Hawkins , Louie Burton and Skip Larson and another trombone player Jack Overhiser, to do the Plymouth Fall Festival in the very early 1980's. Lack of a dependable rhythm section kept us from progressing into a community jazz band but we were able to pull off two New Years eve gig's on Belle Isle at the now defunct Detroit Boat Club. (John Sullivan was on trombone on those gig's and his parent's, Patricia and Joe booked it.)

In the picture...

Back Row: Jeff Korsnes on Guitar, Mike McGonagle on Fender Rhodes piano, Jeff Stopa and Jerry Hotchkins on drums and Eric Flavin on bass.
3rd row: Bruce Ruttenberg, Jeff Stankiwicz, Bob Sherman, Neil Goodwin and Laurie Golden on Trumpets.
2nd row: Dave Gerke on Baritone, Kurt Schubert, Pat Collins, Karen Latin and John Upton.
1st row: Tom Pletzke & Mark Thrasher on Alto Sax's, Joe Labeau on the schools Selmer Mark VI Baritone Saxophone ( With low A- key) I wonder if that horn is still at the school as it's now worth about $6000.00? Ted Hennig and Ken Jamisson on tenor Sax's. ( Bill Kolb was the second tenor player 1st semester)