- Our Story: Founded in January of 2013 in Anacortes, Washington, the "A'Town Big Band" is Skagit County's newest big band. Providing energetic melodies and rhythms as versatile as its members, "A'Town Big Band" plays everything from swing to samba, and ballads to blues. A'Town Big Band performs the music of Stan Kenton, Count Basie, Maynard Ferguson, Sammy Nestico, Bob Curnow, Buddy Rich, and more.
- Like A'TBB on Facebook! Stay up-to-date by liking us at this link: A'Town Big Band on Facebook
- Book the Band: We would be excited and honored to play your event! Book the band by contacting Pat Rein: firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 293-9337.
- 04/12/13: Debut at Skagit Jazz Night. AHS.
- 06/09/13: Second Sunday Series: Heart of Anacortes.
- 07/31/13: Wed. Big Band Series, at Seafarer's Memorial Park.
- 08/28/13: Wed. Big Band Series, at Seafarer's Memorial Park.
- 12/07/13: Anacortes Schools Foundation Benefit.
- 01/25/14: Anacortes Jazz Night at H20.
- 03/01/14: Anacortes Senior Center.
- 03/21/14: AHS Swing Dance, at the Eagles Club.
- 06/07/14: Anacortes Plaza Dance, at the Farmer's Market Depot.
- 06/08/14: Anacortes Waterfront Festival, at Cap Sante Marina.
- 07/09/14: Wed Big Band Series, at Seafarer's Memorial Park.
- 08/01/14: Anacortes Arts Festival, Main Stage.
- 08/09/14: Skagit County Fair, Mount Vernon Fairgrounds.
- 08/27/14: Wed Big Band Series, at Seafarer's Memorial Park.
- 12/15/14: Anacortes School Band Concert.
- 12/19/14: Mount Vernon Christian HS Swing Dance.
- 01/16/15: Swing Dance with MVHS Band at Mt. Vernon High School.
- 01/31/15: Performance with AHS Jazz at H20.
- 02/07/15: Anacortes Senior Center concert at the Eagles.
- 02/21/15: Kiwanis Sunrisers Dinner & Dance at Skyline BC
- 02/27/15: Swing Dance at the Eagles for AHS Band.
- 06/06/15: Plaza Dance at the Anacortes Farmer's Market.
- 06/07/15: Anacortes Waterfront Festival, at Cap Sante Marina.
- 07/15/15: Wed. Big Band Series, at Seafarers Memorial Park.
- 08/07/15: Anacortes Arts Festival, Main Stage.
- 09/05/15: Oak Harbor Music Festival, West Stage.
- 12/19/15: Mount Vernon Christian HS Swing Dance.
- 03/05/16: Fidalgo DanceWorks Gala at Anacortes Port Building.
- 06/04/16: Anacortes Plaza Dance, at the Farmers Market Depot.
- 06/05/16: Anacortes Waterfront Festival, at Cap Sante Marina.
- 06/12/16: Heart of Anacortes: 2nd Sunday Series.
- 07/10/16: Art by the Bay Festival, Stanwood.
- 07/27/16: Wed. Big Band Series, Seafarer's Memorial Park.
- 08/05/16: Anacortes Arts Festival, Main Stage.
08/27/16: Big Band Bash, Fairhaven Green.
- 09/03/16: Oak Harbor Music Festival, East Stage.
- 12/17/16: Swing Dance, Anacortes Senior Center.
- 02/18/17: Swing Dance, Anacortes Senior Center.
For A'Town Big Band Musicians:
- All rehearsals are the second and fourth Monday of the month
- Rehearsals are located at AMS from 7-9pm unless otherwise noted
- Sectionals are on the fifth Monday of the month, organized by section
- Attire for outdoor gigs is Hawaiian shirts with khaki pants
- Members need to provide their own music stands and paper clips for gigs
Barry Erb plays lead alto saxophone. A retired Navy Captain and Navy helicopter pilot, Barry moved back to Oak Harbor to enjoy the Pacific Northwest. After his final flying tour, he went back to school and received a BA in Music Performance followed by a Masters of Arts in Teaching. Being part of countless ensembles throughout the years, including organizing and directing his own Big Band as well as numerous Saxophone Quartets and Quintets, Barry is glad to be back in Oak Harbor and reconnecting with the music in NW Washington.
Hannah Eger plays second alto saxophone but enjoys playing many more styles of music and instruments. A Skagit County native, Hannah went to school at Skagit Community College and then transferred to Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wa where she studied music education and refined skills on piano, voice, bassoon, clarinet, and the saxophones (among others). Hannah graduated in 2015 and is excited to be teaching choir back home at Burlington-Edison High School.
Kenton Kuusela plays lead tenor saxophone and hails from Seattle. After four years in Air Force bands he earned a B.A. in Music Education at the UW. His career included teaching music in schools in British Columbia and Skagit County. Kenton and his wife, Wendy, live in Anacortes where he also plays in the "Skagit Community Band" and "Skagit Swings".
Chris Tuohy (2nd Tenor) holds a BA Degree in music and dance. Christopher formed and directed instrumental / vocal ensembles in Las Vegas performing at many of the major hotel casinos. Since he moved to Camano Island, Christopher and his wife Cynthia built the allied art facility FORTE’ Music Dance Art. He is the Artistic Director and teaches sax, clarinet, flute, piano, voice, tap, jazz, ballet & ballroom dancing. Christopher is a music teacher for the Visions Program at Clear Lake Elementary where he teaches 1st through 6th grades.
Keith Stone plays the baritone saxophone. Keith and his neighborhood buddies came up through the school band program. After school, they listened to everything from Maynard to Cannonball to Tower of Power. Keith joined the fledgling University of Texas at Arlington jazz program under director Bill Snodgrass who expected a lot out of what was essentially a junior college band, but they worked hard and ended up getting an invitation to the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1978. Keith has played in working bands all his life, from country rock to funk and soul. Keith lives and works in Anacortes.
Craig Schroeder (lead trumpet) transferred from the Washington National Guard infantry to the 133rd Army National Guard Band as a bus driver, started practicing again, and joined trumpet section. In 1973 Craig graduated with a Music Education B.A. Craig has played with the "New Deal Rhythm Band", “Jazzdance”, "The Generation Gap", the "Groove Merchants" and the "Snohomish Sauerkraut Band". Craig also taught band in the Granite Falls S.D.
Ian Simensen (second trumpet and bandleader) attended the UW where he majored in Music Education and studied trumpet with Allen Vizzutti. He received his masters degree in conducting from Sam Houston State University. Ian is the Band Director for the Anacortes Band Program, teaching students from the 6th-12th grade.
Pat Rein (third trumpet) graduated from CWU in 1963 with a BA in Music Education. His first job teaching music was in Coulee Dam and his last teaching assignment was in Anacortes. Pat’s first love is playing in big bands, combos and dixieland groups. Previously Pat has played with "The W.T. Preston Dixie Band", "The Wind Machine" and is currently in the Skagit Community Band. Pat has been married to his lovely wife, Sharon, for almost 55 years and has 3 sons, 6 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
Dave Akland (fourth trumpet) is a married father of three who grew up in Yakima, Washington. Dave started playing trumpet in the 5th grade, and was a member of the McDonald’s All-American high school band to march in the tournament of roses parade in Pasadena, and the Macy’s parade in New York City. He also plays with Skagit Community Band and Camano Junction dance band. Dave enjoys motorsports, boating, fishing and travel in his leisure time.
Vince Fejeran plays lead trombone with A'Town Big Band and is the band's announcer as well. Vince is very active in the music scene in the county, playing trombone with a number of local bands. Additionally, Vince directs the Skagit Community Band out of Anacortes, Wa and teaches band at Immaculate Conception Regional School in Mount Vernon.
- Paul Brower played Bass, Piano, and Trombone in high school and gigged in clubs with road bands and played at resorts. After four years in the U.S. Navy, Paul taught in various schools in San Diego including the School for the Creative and performing arts. He began playing classical guitar in 1960 and has performed in chamber groups and recitals. Paul is still an active musician on guitar and trombone, having played with the Northern Lights Orchestra, Skagit Community Band, Solid Brass Quintet, Camano Junction Swing Band, and various pit orchestras at the Lincoln Theater, Skagit Community College and McIntyre Hall.
- Rob Queisser moved to Bellingham in 2004. He plays trombone with A-Town Big Band, Philharmonia Northwest, Swing Gang and Halleck Street Ramblers; and performs on trombone or bass in local jazz groups, pit orchestras, and swing bands. He also teaches trombone, tuba and euphonium, and has coached low brass for the Bellingham Youth Jazz Band and local high school and middle school bands.
- Bob Wilson is an amazing fellow, but has no biography, yet.
- Andy Carr (piano) has been active in the Puget Sound music scene for 35+ years, as accompanist and arranger for vocalists, choirs, and musical theatre; and as a jazz pianist with groups ranging from small combos to big bands. A resident of beautiful Camano Island and happily retired from corporate life, Andy maintains an busy schedule performing with the A’Town Big Band; Savage Jazz Quartet; Swingnuts Jazz; and Tangoheart. He regularly accompanies choral concerts and drama productions at The Overlake School. When away from the keyboard, Andy loves hiking backcountry trails and sampling Syrah (not at the same time).
- Tim Eslick (bass) found a tired old string bass in a soon-to-be torn down building and entered into a world of love for the double bass. He started playing in folk and then bluegrass groups, principally the "Downhome Band" of Friday Harbor. He then thought he would stretch a little and join a big band: Friday Harbor's "One More Time". During this time he got into combo groups and played in a quartet called "Expressions", playing jazz standards and Latin music. While attending a masterclass at the jazz workshop in Port Townsend, Tim got the opportunity to play a jazz duet with his favorite jazz bassist, Ray Brown, who told Tim to just keep playing. Tim plays primarily in the TimE3 Trio which is seen at the Rockfish on the first Wednesday of every month.
- Brad Spangler (drums) is still playing same drumset he got in 4th grade (1969). His experience includes jazz, symphonic, and fusion music in the Ojai CA area; marching, wind, brass band, jazz, and percussion ensemble performance (and some composition) in San Luis Obispo CA; followed by traditional and big band jazz in the Whidbey Island / Skagit County area since 1984. A retired Navy Seabee, and currently leading the power Generation department at Snohomish PUD, Brad and his wife of 30 years Leslie make their home in Burlington, near their two grown children (and a grandson). He also plays in the Skagit Community Band and the Whidbey Island Jazz Society.