Concord Senior Center

By Sheila Welt
Photographs by Bob Nelson

The EBBC had a great play out at the Concord Senior Center on August 16. The dinner tables were arranged so there was a large space in the middle of the room for dancing.

We were well received by those present, with a lot of applause, singing, laughing and dancing by audience members. Some of the women in attendance got up and danced the Charleston (and did it very well!). About a fourth of the group danced with us for our closing song of “When The Saints Go Marching In.”

We enjoyed seeing former EBBC member Flo Hall in attendance. Participating EBBC musicians were Betty David, Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, Karen Hefter, Ardie Jarrett, Garry Kerr, Chris Lardge, Bob Malucelli, Larry Risner, Sheila Welt, Guy Black on bass, Jan Ruzicka on autoharp and Slavka Ruzicka on guitar.

Vocals were handled by Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, Red Higgins, Chris Lardge, Kit Nelson and Sheila Welt. Bob Nelson took photographs.

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Rossmoor Luncheon

By John Greitzer
Photos by Bob Nelson

The spacious Fireside Room at Rossmoor’s Gateway Center was completely filled for the club’s noontime play out on July 27. The air conditioning managed to stave off the 105-degree heat from outside, but the ambiance in the room was warm nonetheless.  The large crowd clapped and sang along to many of our songs and gave us rousing applause, particularly for the up-tempo numbers.

With 23 club members participating, it was our most successful playout in recent memory. The musicians and singers in attendance were Jack Starr, Diana Starr, Betty David, Larry Risner, Diane Malucelli, Bob Malucelli, Don Granberg, Bud Pearce, Ardie Jarrett, Bob Ehrhorn, John Greitzer, Kit Nelson, Red Higgins, Guy Black, Sheila Welt, Tom Brunetti, Rich Combs, Phil Myers, Linda Myers, Clyde Dedmon, Jack Convery, and Jack’s young student Trent Jones, who took a solo on “When the Saints Go Marching In” which closed the show.  Bob Nelson attended and took photographs of the event.

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Reutlinger Jewish Community Center

By John Greitzer
Photos by Bob Nelson

The mercury hit 105 degrees outside but the only heat inside was the EBBC old-time music playout at the Reutlinger Jewish Community Center in Danville on July 14. The audience of Reutlinger residents, guests and staff clapped, danced and sang along as EBBC ran through many familiar standards and favorites.

Eighteen EBBC members participated, one of our best playout turnouts in recent memory. Participants included Guy Black, Rich Combs, Tom Brunetti, Betty David, Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, John Greitzer, Ardie Jarrett, Garry Kerr, Bob Malucelli, Diane Malucelli, Kit Nelson, Bob Nelson, Bud Pearce, Larry Risner, Jack Starr, Diana Starr, and Sheila Welt.

Reutlinger is a wonderful place to play. The dining room where we play is light, airy and spacious, and the staff are friendly, welcoming and helpful. Residents and staff told us they want us back again soon.

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Orinda July 4th Parade

By Diane Malucelli
Photos by Darlene Calimlim

East Bay Banjo Club members enjoyed a special Fourth of July by playing in the Orinda parade. Bobbie Landers did a great job for us in getting a sponsor (the law firm of Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis and Larsen) and a flatbed truck with hay bales to sit on. At 9 a.m. we were decorating the truck with flags and other red, white and blue decorations. We all got up on the truck, sat on the hay bales and rode out into the parade at about 10 a.m.

Music Director Betty David led us in the songs and Bob Ehrhorn played his bass guitar. Other participating club members included Connor Calimlim, Don Granberg, Karen Hefter, Deb Hodson, Bob Malucelli, Diane Malucelli, Bud Pearce, Jan Ruzicka (guitar) and Slavka Ruzicka (autoharp). Connor Calimlim’s parents, Darlene and Lito, also rode with us.

The parade route took us to downtown Orinda and then through the Highway 24 underpass to Orinda Village in the newer part of town. There were thousands of people lining the streets, by far the most people we have ever seen in town. Many different cultures and ages were represented and everyone smiled and waved and shouted “Happy Fourth.” It was a wonderful experience, with people clapping for us and waving their flags. We could hear people saying “There are the banjos” and children were dancing to the beat of our music. We had so much fun we really didn’t want it to end so soon.

EBBC extends a big thank-you to our sponsor, the law firm of Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis and Larsen. Based in Orinda, the firm also has offices through the Bay Area.

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Aegis of Pleasant Hill

June 16, 2016
By Diane Malucelli
Photos by Bob Nelson

EBBC had a playout on Thursday, June 16 from 6:15 to 7:15pm at Aegis of Pleasant Hill on Oak Park Boulevard. Aegis is a very nice assisted living facility. We performed in their garden area in front of a fountain and flowers.

Betty David led us and Guy Black played bass. The other banjo players were Tom Brunetti, Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, Chris Lardge, Diane Malucelli, Kit Nelson, Diana Starr and Jack Starr. Our singers were Don, Chris, Bob and Kit. The staff requested that we play more banjo music and less singing. We did about 60 percent singing and 40 percent instrumental.

We had around 70 people listening to us and singing along. Some of the people are residents of Aegis and others were family members, friends and caregivers. One of the residents, Jack (Gwin) Hicks has been a long-time EBBC member and he was in the audience. Betty acknowledged him and several of us went over to talk to him. Jim Abele was there and he usually comes every Wednesday to our practices. Bob Nelson was also there to help. Since it was later in the day, it got a little chilly from a colder wind so many of the people moved inside and we didn’t have part of our audience. It is a very nice place to play music.

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Montecito Oakmont Senior Living

June 10, 2016
By John Greitzer
Photos by Bob Nelson

An audience at Montecito Oakmont Senior Living in Concord enjoyed an EBBC performance June 10 until a fire alarm in the building stopped the show about forty minutes into our planned one-hour set.   By the time the Fire Department arrived, checked the premises and turned off the alarm, our hour-long slot had ended.  We played one final song, a rousing version of “When The Saints Go Marching In” with Kit Nelson singing, to end the afternoon playout.  It remains unclear whether there was a small fire in the building or if it was a false alarm.

EBBC musicians included Betty David, Kit Nelson, Diane and Bob Malucelli, Ken Williamson, Tom Brunetti, Chris Lardge, Bob Ehrhorn, Deb Hodson, John Greitzer, and Guy Black.  Bob Nelson took photos of the event.  Kit, Chris and Bob Ehrhorn handled the vocal chores.

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Stoneman Village

June 1, 2016
By John Greitzer
Photos by Bob Nelson

A small EBBC contingent entertained seniors at Stoneman Village in Pittsburg on June 1, after the planned Memorial Day event was changed at the last minute from May 31 to June 1. The last-minute schedule change left several EBBC members unable to make the new date. Nonetheless, the club played on, to the delight of Stoneman Village residents.

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Banjo-Rama 2016

May 15, 2016

By:  Sheila Welt
Photos by: Bob Nelson

The Lion’s Gate Hotel in Sacramento was a beautiful venue, and the parking was easy.  The drive from Concord was approx. 80 miles.

We played from 1:40pm until 2:10pm.

Banjo Players included:  Tom Brunetti, Rich Combs, Jack Convery, Betty David, Bob Ehrhorn, Barbara Findley, Karen Hefter, Red Higgins, Deb Hobson, Ardie Jarrett, Trent Jones, Bob Malucelli, Linda Myers, Phil Myers, Kit Nelson, Bud Pearce, Larry Risner, Jan Ruzicka, Slavka Ruzicka, Jack Starr, Marilyn Starr, and Sheila Welt.

Bass:  Guy Black

Vocalists:  Bob Ehrhorn, Red Higgins, Kit Nelson, Bud Pearce, and Sheila Welt

The audience seemed to enjoy our presentation and responded with much clapping.

The vendors were well represented and had a lot of goodies for us to purchase.  It appeared that some of them were doing a very brisk business.

It was a good play out and great fun!

Posted in Gig

Castlewood Country Club Playout

December 9, 2015

By:  Diane Malucelli
Photos by:  Bob Nelson

On Wednesday, December 9, 2015, eighteen members of our East Bay Banjo Club came to Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton for a playout.  We performed for the Kaiser Retirement Group and we entertained 220 people after their luncheon.

Castlewood Country Club is on a hill overlooking the valley.  It is a beautiful and very impressive, large building that was decorated with trees, wreaths and lights for Christmas.  We performed on risers in their main ballroom so that we were above the audience.

Since it was such a large room, we really played and sang vigorously so everyone could hear us.  Betty David led us and Larry Risner sat behind the group to help with the rhythm.  Guy Black was our lead on bass guitar.  Our other players were Clyde Dedmon on guitar, Jesse DeTorres, Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, Ardie Jarrett, Garry Kerr, Chris Lardge, Bob Malucelli, Diane Malucelli, Dina Melamed, Phil Myers, Kit Nelson, Bud Pearce, Jack Starr, and Sheila Welt.

We played traditional banjo songs, as well as Jewish and Christmas songs.  The singers were Jesse DeTorres, Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, Chris Lardge, Kit Nelson, Bud Pearce and Sheila Welt.  Phil Myers led the Club on “The Bear Mist the Train” and Kit Nelson sang “Silent Night” as our last song.

Zio Fraedo’s Play Out

The Retired Officers’ Military Wives Club
Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015

By:  Sheila Welt
Photos by:  Bob Nelson and Diane Risner

This play out at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant was great fun!  The women in attendance were a fun group to entertain.  They enthusiastically joined in with our songs and danced with us during our closing number of “When The Saints Go Marching In.”  We entertained with the requested “oldies” and Jack Convery did a banjo solo of medley of the military songs.

Banjo Players:  Jack Convery, Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, Garry Kerr, Annie Lem, Bud Pearce, Kit Nelson, Bob Malucelli, Larry Risner, and Sheila Welt

Other Instruments:  Guy Black (Bass), Clyde Dedmon (Guitar), Dina Melamed (Washboard), and Don Granberg (Washboard)

Singers:  Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, Bud Pearce, Kit Nelson, and Sheila Welt

Lindsay Wildlife Museum Playout

October 11, 2015

by:  Karen Hefter
Photos by:  Bob Nelson

The Club had a wonderful afternoon helping the Lindsay Wildlife Museum celebrate their 60th anniversary.  The museum is an educational center and rehabilitation hospital for local California wildlife.  We performed for an hour outside, under some beautiful trees.  To celebrate the museum’s history, we worked a number of animal related songs into the show list.  Some featured animal songs were “Jungletown,” “Bye Bye Blackbird,” “Under the Double Eagle,” and “Alley Cat.”  Kit Nelson sang “Alley Cat” and Dina Melamed wore cat ears,  held up a cat poster, and added all of the ‘meows’ needed for her favorite song.

We had a great turnout from club members.  Our 18 fabulous performers were:  Guy Black, Tom Brunetti, Betty David, Clyde Dedmon, Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, Karen Hefter, Terry Horner, Garry Kerr, Chris Lardge, Annie Lem, Dina Melamed, Linda Myers, Phil Myers, Diane Malucelli, Bob Malucelli, Kit Nelson, and Larry Risner.  This was Annie’s first playout and we hope she joins us for many more in the future. Club member Bob Nelson was our photographer.  We also had a few spouses and other supporters join us for this performance.

Picnic at Lander’s Landing

August 15, 2015

by:  Karen Hefter
Photos by:  Karen Hefter

The East Bay Banjo Club would like to give a huge thank you to Bobbi Landers for hosting the annual picnic at her home on the Delta once again.  It is so much fun to sit out on her deck at the edge of the water and, eat, chat, and, did I mention eat?   People trickled in throughout the morning and enjoyed sitting out on the deck and talking with each other.  The weather was hot but there was a nice breeze, at least in the morning.  Boat rides and waterskiing lessons were available to those who wanted to go out on the water.  Carl, this year’s exchange student from Tabor in the Czech Republic, gave it a try and got up on skis on his very first day.  Karen brought along a small monkey organ that she recently made from a kit and played it for the group.  Bud and a couple of other people also gave it a try.  Bob N. and Bud were in charge of the barbecue this year and they masterfully grilled corn on the cob and 4 kinds of sausages.  There were plenty of salads and delicious desserts as well.

After lunch, everyone got out their instruments and we had a jam session out on the deck.  In addition to all of the banjos, we had Don on the keyboard, an autoharp and a guitar played by some of Bobbi’s Czech friends, Annie’s husband Dan on harmonica, and Annie’s granddaughter Danielle on the ukulele.    Bud, Kit, Don, and Chris sang along with the group, as did some of the Czech guests.  The club had a great turnout and many people attended with their spouses, children, grandchildren, etc.   This year’s EBBC deck chair brigade included:  Guy and Mary Black, Betty David, Don Granberg and Bernadette, Karen Hefter, Harry and Red Higgins, Ardie Jarrett, Bobbi Landers, Chris Lardge, Bob and Diane Malucelli, Linda and Phil Myers, Kit and Bob Nelson, Bud and Gloria Pearce (plus other assorted family members), Annie and Dan Lem (plus other assorted family members), and Sheila Welt.  A wonderful time was had had by all, as evidenced by all of the smiles in the photos.

Atria Senior Living Playout

August 14, 2015

By:  Diane Malucelli
Photos by:  Bob Nelson

We performed on Friday, August 14 from 3:30pm – 4:30pm at Atria Senior Living, 1400 Montego Street in Walnut Creek.  It is a very nice assisted living facility that was extensively renovated last year.  We played in a medium-sized community room for about 25 residents.  The theme was the Spirit of ’45 and it was intended to celebrate the end of World War II.

Betty David led us and Guy Black provided our bass.  Our other players were Clyde Dedmon on guitar, Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, Ardie Jarrett, Chris Lardge, Bob Malucelli, Diane Malucelli, Kit Nelson, Bud Pearce, and Sheila Welt.  We had our special guests of Jim Abele and Bob Nelson.  Our vocalists were Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, Chris Lardge, Kit Nelson, Bud Pearce and Sheila Welt. Bob Nelson was our photographer. There was a full piano in the room so Don Granberg played the piano with us on “Cuddle Up a Little Closer,” “Nobody’s Sweeheart Now,” and “Darkness on the Delta.”  Some of the residents sang along with our songs and one energetic lady danced to the songs while using her walker.

We ended our performance with Sheila singing “America the Beautiful” and Kit singing “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”  It was a very moving and patriotic tribute and a very nice playout.

Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living Playout

July 21, 2015

By:  Diane Malucelli
Photos by:  Bob Nelson

On Tuesday, July 21, 2015, the East Bay Banjo Club performed at the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living in Danville for the first time. This is an assisted living residence and there are many buildings and residents.  We performed for their ice cream social and the theme was “Remember the Good Old Days.”  We played in a large dining room and there were probably around 70 residents and helpers there.

We had 18 people playing instruments and six of them sang as well.  Our group included Guy Black, Tom Brunetti, Betty David, Clyde Dedmon, Jesse DeTorres, Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, John Greitzer, Karen Hefter, Ardie Jarrett, Garry Kerr, Bob Malucelli, Diane Malucelli, Dina Melamed, Kit Nelson, Bud Pearce, Larry Risner, and Sheila Welt.  The singers were Jesse DeTorres, Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, Kit Nelson, Bud Pearce, and Sheila Welt.  Club member Georgette DeTorres was in attendance and Bob Nelson took photos.  Diane Risner attended as well.

It was wonderful to have Jesse back with us to play and sing.  John Greitzer played with us for the first time at a gig and he enjoyed it.  The audience was enthusiastic and sang along with the songs such as “You Are My Sunshine,” “California Here I Come,” and “Five Foot Two.”  They were dancing in their chairs and smiling.  Even the helpers were dancing and clapping with the residents. Kit Nelson ended with a beautiful “God Bless America.”  It was a good performance and a lot of fun for all of us.

Orinda 4th of July Parade

July 4th, 2015

By:  Karen Hefter
Photos by:  Karen Hefter

The Fourth of July was a beautiful day, perfect for a parade.  The weather was warm, but a cool breeze kept us from overheating.  Spirits were high as we decorated our float with bunting, flags, signs, etc.  Bob Ehrhorn brought a sound system so that we could hear Betty better this year.  This was a big help!  The parade is always a fun event and it is great to see all of the smiling faces along the street.  People make lots of eye contact with us and cheer and clap along to our music.   Our players were:  Guy Black, Betty David, Clyde Dedmon, Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, John Greitzer, Karen Hefter, Bob Malucelli, Diane Malucelli, Dina Melamed, Linda Myers, and Phil Myers.  Kat and David Hefter joined us on the float and threw candy for the kids along the parade route.  Dina wore a special, star spangled 4th of July hat that she created herself, complete with an eagle, for the occasion.

A big thank you goes to Bobbie Landers for arranging this playout for us year after year and for coordinating the hay and truck logistics.  Extra thanks go to Bob and Diane Malucelli, who brought coffee and donuts for the float decorators.  They also brought all of the signs, decorations, etc, as well as the all important ladder needed to get on and off the float!  They are kind enough to store all of these items for the club all year long.

Castro Valley Masonic Center Playout

July 2, 2015

By:  Sheila Welt
Photos by:  Bob Nelson

This evening was dedicated to the youth groups that the Masonic Lodge sponsors.  A young lady from the Rainbow Girls spoke to us about patriotism.  She was an eloquent speaker and her presentation was enjoyed by all.  The Rainbow Girls, Job’s Daughters, Boy Scouts, and Cub Scouts brought in the Colors.  The Rainbow Assembly served the diners their chicken dinners, which included dessert. The crowd was welcoming and enjoyed our entertainment.  We played patriotic songs, as well as some of our traditional songs.

Those playing were:  Guy Black, Tom Brunetti, Betty David, Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, Ardie Jarrett, Bob Malucelli, Kit Nelson, Jack Starr, and Sheila Welt.  Vocalists were:  Kit Nelson, Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, and Sheila Welt.  Don Granberg also played the washboard.  Bob Nelson was our photographer.

The cooks had hot dogs ready for those of us who arrived early to set up, which we greatly appreciated. They also offered us dinner after the meeting and some of our group took it home in carry-out containers.   We only had one little glitch with the sound system, which Bob Malucelli found and fixed very quickly.  He needed to replace a fuse.  Overall, we were all very pleased with the evening.

Aegis of Pleasant Hill Playout

June 19, 2015

By:  Diane Malucelli
Photos by:  Bob Nelson

The East Bay Banjo Club playout was on Friday, June 19 at Aegis of Pleasant Hill, which is a beautiful assisted living residence.  We played in the garden in front of the colorful flowers and cascading water fountain.  It was sunny at first when we set up the equipment, so we moved our chairs around to get some shade.  As the sun moved, it became shady and very pleasant to play outside.  About 45 residents and visitors came to listen and they sang along to some of the songs.  We saw a special resident with our gold vest on and Betty recognized him as Jack Hicks.  Jack is still a member of EBBC.  Bob and I talked to him afterwards and he has many membership cards and has been part of our club for 45 years.

Betty David was our leader for the day and Guy Black played the bass.  The vocalists were Don Granberg, Kit Nelson and Sheila Welt.  The banjo players were Tom Brunetti, Betty David, Don Granberg, Ardie Jarrett, Bob Malucelli, Diane Malucelli, Kit Nelson, and Sheila Welt.  Dina Melamed played her washboard and Clyde Dedmon played his guitar. Bob Nelson was our photographer. We ended with “When the Saints Go Marching In” and the workers danced with the residents and everyone enjoyed the music.  It is a fun place to play and it is full of nice people.

Stoneman Village Playout

May 26, 2015

By:  Sheila Welt
Photos by:  Bob Nelson

It was a beautiful day for an outdoor playout.  The weather was sunny, with enough breeze to keep the heat down. Our audience was spirited and sang along with many of our songs.  A lot of the residents came up to talk with us after our performance.  It was good to see friends from past EBBC performances in attendance.

Banjo Players in attendance: Tom Brunetti, Jim Blankenship, Betty David, Clyde Dedmon, Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, Ardie Jarrett, Bob Malucelli, Diane Malucelli, Kit Nelson, Bud Pearce and Sheila Welt.  Singers were:  Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, Kit Nelson, Bud Pearce and Sheila Welt.  Bass:  Guy Black.  Washboard: Dina Melamed.

Set Up, Break Down and Sound Crews included:  Tom Brunetti, Bob Elrhorn, Ardie Jarrett, Bob Malucelli, Diane Malucelli, Bob Nelson, and Sheila Welt. Our photographer for the day:  Bob Nelson.

An interesting side note to this playout: There was a  scheduling conflict between our playing and some kind of meeting that was scheduled for the same time slot.  We were informed that we needed to turn off the mics because we were too loud and the people in the meeting couldn’t hear each other speak.  With mics off, the singers could not be heard and it was difficult for the banjos to stay in sync with each other.  Regardless of the restrictions, the audience enjoyed our performance and the EBBC had a good time.

Sacramento BanjoRama 2015

5-17-2015

by:  Karen Hefter
photos by:  Bob Nelson, Karen Hefter

The EBBC made a very strong showing at the 2015 Sacramento BanjoRama.  We were one of the largest banjo bands present that day, with 19 performers up on stage. We also had more singers than any other banjo band.  Our performance was very spirited and was very well received by the large crowd.  We started out with our club’s theme song, “The Banjo Picker’s Ball,” and our club members sang the song with gusto the second and fourth times through.  This gave the performance a very strong start.

We played a total of 9 songs, which featured 6 of our fabulous singers: Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, Red Higgins, Kit Nelson, Bud Pearce, and Danielle Torres.  The singers were all real crowd pleasers and the audience happily sang along to many of the songs.  One of the crowd favorites was “Crawdad Song,” led by Banjo Hall of Famer Harry Higgins and sung by his wife Red Higgins and granddaughter Danielle Torres.  Bud Pearce always gets a lot of enthusiasm from the crowd when he sings “Hello Ma Baby” with his tiny plastic megaphone. The other singers were equally well received.

This year’s BanjoRama performance was a real showcase of our club’s talents – songs were led by 4 different banjo players and sung by 6 of our singers.    Our performers included:  Tom Brunetti, Jack Convery, Betty David, Clyde Dedmon, Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, Karen Hefter, Harry Higgins, Red Higgins, Garry Kerr, Bob Malucelli, Diane Malucelli, Dina Melamed, Phil Myers, Kit Nelson, Bud Pearce, Larry Risner, Danielle Torres, and guest performer John Stafford on bass.

Later on in the day, our own Jack Convery was featured in his own solo set and he started out performing solo, accompanied by Evan Dale on bass.  Next, Jack invited John Stafford up with his clarinet for another song.  As time went on, Jack slowly built up the group on stage by inviting several outstanding EBBC members, including Kit Nelson, Harry Higgins, Danielle Torres, and Bud Pearce, to join him one or two at a time. Jack ended his set by playing Dueling Banjos with a friend who played the 5-string banjo.  Jack’s set was a half hour of outstanding music!

Pittsburg Senior Center

May 16, 2015

By:  Diane Malucelli
Photos by:  Dianne Risner

The EBBC playout on Saturday, May 16th was at the Pittsburg Senior Center and it was for their Senior Health Fair.  They had tables with health information throughout the building.  They had a wide variety of  entertainment before our performance, such as follies dancers, singers and tap dancers.  We played while people ate lunch, but we were delayed about a half hour because of the equipment setup. We played for about 45 minutes.

Betty David and Larry Risner led our group and Guy Black was our bass player.  The other banjo players were Tom Brunetti, Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg, Bob Malucelli, Diane Malucelli, and Bud Pearce.  Bob Ehrhorn, Don Granberg and Bud Pearce were our vocalists.  The audience really enjoyed our music and several of them got up and danced to our music.  There were two ladies that danced together and a gentleman that did a soft shoe dance.

The organizers of the event would love to have us come back again next year but we explained that we need to have setup time factored into the schedule.  We’ll see what happens next year.  It was a fun event and the seniors seemed to really enjoy it.