[Dixielandjazz] Longhorn Band and dixieland in Austin

Jim Allen jim.allen at longhornband.net
Wed Dec 12 13:55:02 PST 2012

Tell Tex I said hello.  Tex Schwoebel and I competed in District and Regional Band chairs for 4 years, and he was in LHB for a time.  I was 1st chair at All District Band 4 years in a row, Tex's buddy Pat was 2d, one of my bandmates was 3rd and Tex was 4th.  At the Regional Band, I finished second every year, but the 4th year had to take the NROTC qualifying test so had to pass on the Regional try-outs the same day.  That was my chance to be in the All State Band, but I needed the NROTC scholarship.  I ended up with neither!  :>(

Chuck Ellis was the French horn section leader in the LHB for years while I was there.  I understand he is in declining health now.  How is he doing, if you know?

I played at WurstFest in New Braunfels every year from 1957, with the high school band, or with the Hi-Toppers, sat in with Gordie Zunker's Cloverleafs and backed up Myron Floren for his shows there, until about 1970, when I moved out here to stay.

We had various Dixieland groups in and around New Braunfels, but not much enthusiasm compared to the polka bands.  What I wanted was to go play at the Landing which I heard on WOAI every Friday evening at 10 pm!

When I got to San Diego in 1968, after graduating and getting a Navy commission, I found Mickey Finn's and was a life member.  Alas, Mickey Finn's is no more!  I think Barbara Finn is still around here but no longer plays.  Fred was last heard of in Vegas, IIRC.

Vince DiNino, of course, was director when I was there, an amazing, amazing man.  I received a few weeks ago a video of him, at age 93, conducting LHB at Darrel Royal's memorial service.  He'll remember me... always has, even after decades of being away.  

I'm planning to move back to the area for health reasons.  It's exciting to know there is something to look forward to.  I was at the AFCDJS Festival last month and ran into some enthusiastic folks from the Austin-San Antonio area, very gratifying.

I attended the Jazz camp in 2001 and am going this year again.  It was loads of fun.  I've assembled a mountain of "fake book" stuff and am getting my fingers on all of it.  Some I remember, some I wish I did!


Jim Allen
Coronado, CA
-----Original Message-----
From: dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com on behalf of Augustine Daniel
Sent: Wed 12/12/2012 10:37 AM
To: Jim Allen
Cc: Dixieland Jazz Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Longhorn Band and dixieland in Austin
Jim & DJML--
    Well, i guess our paths may have crossed here in Austin somewhere, sometime.
    I was never in the Longhorn Band, but i have been playing tuba in Austin since the mid-1970s.  I did play in a brass quintet around 1975 supervised by Steve Bryant (co-ordinator of TubaChristmas here), and recently i met Vince Dinino and loaned him my baritone horn to honk away at in a polka band i play in.  In 1979 i got my worthless Ph.D. in music theory at UT, but i didn't spend much time at Music Building East, but in Wooldridge Hall, which has now fortunately been demolished.
    I do know a fair number of people, however, who did play in the Longhorn Band, and have been in the Alumni Band for decades, such as Chuck Ellis and Jim Schwobel.  A goodly number of them also played in the Wurst Band at Scholz's.
    About 2001 some friends and i in the computer-programming racket (which i did at UT for decades, since i couldn't get a job teaching music theory) started playing dixieland in a band, but i had been playing tuba to dixieland-recordings since the 1950s, just never with a band.  Took me a while to be able to play from lead-sheets, but i already knew most of the tunes.  For the past, um, 6-8 years now i've been playing tuba in a couple of professional dixieland bands in the Austin area for money (well, you know . . ., not much money), and it's a lot of fun, especially after i retired.
    Had a great time playing in a kind of adult-novice dixieland band back in 2004 at John Bradshaw's church in San Antonio with some folks who met at a San Diego dixieland-camp, including Jay Rice, George Harbaugh, Tom Duncan, Vicki Cox, Jack May, Jim Goodwin, and Meg Graf.  They didn't have a tuba player, and Meg didn't want to fly her bass-sax (named Big George) down to San Antonio at the mercy of the baggage-handlers, so i played, and we had a ball.
    So, the upshot is: keep at it (playing tuba in dixieland).  It's fun and gradually you'll learn the tunes and how to play different styles and with different levels of players.  Hope to see you (maybe at Sacramento) one of these years if i ever get back to California for festivals like Rae Ann keeps reminding me i need to do.

    Dan Augustine
On Dec 12, 2012, at 10:53 AM, Jim Allen wrote:

I don't know.  As a member of the University of Texas Longhorn Band in my college days, I have played "The Eyes of Texas" countless times, probably in the thousands of times, and exactly the same notes, and participating all these years in the Longhorn Alumni Band, countless more.  It's been nearly 50 years.  We never get tired of it, or bored.  Of course, it is not just a song, but a way of life.

Maybe that's the ticket!

Boredoom?  "The cure for boredom is curiosity.  There is no cure for curiosity!"  Dorothy Parker


Jim Allen
Coronado, CA
-----Original Message-----
From: dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com on behalf of Marek Boym
Sent: Wed 12/12/2012 6:31 AM
To: Jim Allen
Cc: Dixieland Jazz Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Old, but new!

I am not a musician, Jim.
Neverteless, my listening experience is that mpst bands repeat the
same notes again and again.  Only occasionally they differ.  And the
trad audiences request St. Lous Blues, Sweet Georgia Brown, etc., ad
>> SNIP <<

**  Dan Augustine  --  Austin, Texas  --  ds.augustine at mail.utexas.edu
**  "O Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet." -- St. Augustine (354-430)           

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