Please bear with us – we are still receiving new photos from our musicians.
Please bear with us – we are still receiving new photos from our musicians.
Sousa Band Members
Liz Dreisbach, Director
Liz loves a captive audience. Telling colorful tales, she breathes even more life into the music of Sousa and his fellows. As an ethnomusicologist, she has worked at festivals programming or managing everything from cowboy poets to mule teams to mariachi bands. Besides her obsession with John Philip Sousa and the Yiddish clarinetist, Naftule Brandwein, Liz is an expert gardener and chicken fancier.
Unlike many of my bandmates, I never played in a band before. I started playing clarinet in 2001 and have been making up for lost time. I also play with Doc Sprinsock and the SANCApators, the multigenerational KlezKids, and I facilitate a monthly klezmer jam.
Also toots with the Sammamish Symphony. Marches (yes, marches) in the FIDO (First In Dog Obedience) Drill Team with her basset/maybe corgi best friend, Bodie. Rumored to be a librarian at the University of Washington.
Eben has been playing clarinet since he joined the school band in sixth grade, when his favorite was the Washington Post March. He has played alongside the great and the near-great, including the Flying Karamazov Brothers, the Reverend Chumleigh, and the Royal Famille Du Caniveaux. Besides his day job programming computers, Eben leads Doc Sprinsock and the SANCApators, the house band for Seattle’s circus school SANCA.
Clarinetist by night, dentist by day. I also play in the Greenwood Concert Band and enjoy performing chamber music. I currently study clarinet privately with William Blayney. When not practicing (dentistry or clarinet) I enjoy cooking, running and traveling.
Marianne has been playing clarinet since her days in the Duncanville, Texas. She also plays contra, English country, and klezmer music. In her other life she’s a freelance copyeditor who publishes occasional academic writings on Radiohead and other popular beat combos.
Founding member Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band, 1985 People’s Republic of Port Townsend Band on occasion and The University of Iowa, Hawkeye Marching Band. I sew uniforms, ballet and opera costumes, and generally avoid cyber technology.
Also plays Oaxacan music with La Banda Gozona. The rest of the time she’s either teaching, traveling or acting in commercials and music videos.
In addition to her Sousa piccolo duties, Marni plays flute and saxophone in the Fremont Philharmonic for the annual Panto and Moisture Festival at Hale’s, and for contra and English dances with Contra Sutra and various other bands.
At the urging of her son, Ian, Julie retrieved her flute from the back of the closet and ventured to a Sousa Band rehearsal. One thing led to another – she now has a new flute and plays 16th notes a bit faster. Her poems appear in Limbs of the Pine, Peaks of the Range (Rose Alley Press, Seattle), and a couple of other poems have ridden Metro buses.
Alto sax. I also play in Capricious Clarinets. A flute player during my youth in Cleveland, I abandoned both 20 years ago and now play alto sax or clarinet whenever and wherever I can.
Alto sax. Also play in a small sax ensemble (quartet or quintet) with other people from the Sousa Band. Day job: librarian at the UW.
Utility saxophonist; 62; 175 lbs; bats, right; throws, right; 2005 wrong-note average: .269. After minor-league seasoning in the Federal Way Philharmonic, Robertson was brought up by the parent club as a French hornist. Injuries soon forced him into the woodwind section. By filling in occasionally on bass drum, Robertson has gratified his small but indifferent fan club by becoming the first band member to hit for the cycle, performing in the brass, woodwind, and percussion sections. Off-field interests include grandchildren and trying to duplicate White Castle hamburgers.
Donn has been in the Sousa band since the late 1980s, on tuba and various members of the saxophone family, currently baritone saxophone. He plays in other bands, too.
Instrument: E-flat alto horn. Laura also teaches Chi Running and Chi Walking, practices tai chi, runs, and works in medical research.
When not playing with the band, he’s often seen acting around the Seattle area and has also been known to produce radio shows. He’s also tech director for the San Francisco’s annual Dance Along Nutcracker.
I started playing in the 3rd grade and remember my logic for choosing the trumpet. My older brother played the violin. I usually followed in his footsteps, but not this time. He was bigger, stronger, and smarter but no way was he going to be louder! So, I played the trumpet (as loud as I could). Twenty years after my last note in college, I opened my case again. The Sousa Band was just getting started and I have been there ever since.
Roy plays with all kinds of every kind of band in Seattle.
I picked up the trombone in 4th grade and played in bands, orchestras, pit bands and even a Tijuana Brass band. In college I played in the touring concert band and got to see about a third of the country from a bus. I put the trombone away for a dozen years, all the while not realizing what the hole was in my life. When the Sousa Band formed in my neighborhood, I joined and have been there ever since. Playing trombone has taught me three important life lessons: 1) the best music is played when everyone works as a team, 2) not having frets, valves or keys, you can play in tune only by listening to others and constantly making fine adjustments, and 3) good lubrication is very, very important.
PJ started his music career as a fourth grade trumpet player. After 6 years of building an overbearing ego, he was rehabilitated as a trombonist. PJ was engulfed in Sousa’s music while participating with his clarinetist father in the Post 47 Veterans of Foreign Wars National Band in his hometown of Uniontown, PA. After moving up to the Penn State Marching Blue Band, he played regularly in front of 100,000 rabid Nittany Lion fans at Beaver Stadium, along with performances at Ohio Stadium, Michigan Stadium, Giants Stadium, the Fiesta Bowl, and Rose Bowl Parade and football game. He is elated to be a part of the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band, where he never has to worry about playing slow, boring ballads!
Salamandir has played a bewildering variety of brass, woodwind and keyboard instruments (some at the same time) in symphony orchestras, theatre orchestras, marching bands, community orchestras, recording studios, rehearsal bands, pick-up groups and on the street. His primary musical influences are Frank Zappa, Morton Subotnik, Philip Glass, John Cage, The Holy Modal Rounders, Popeye, Donald Duck, various roots and herbs, and everything else.
Tromb Williams, ’62-’66 Madison Marching Cubs (Indiana),’67-’69 Vincennes University Band and Jazz Band, WORX, WJCD, WAOV ’70-’72 Indiana State University Marching Sycamores, drama and passion, ’81-’82 Eugene: Agripac, ’82-’83 Univ. of Nebraska, Kimball Hall, ’83-’84 University of Montana: KGVO, ’85 KMPS, more drama, NoEx, ’99-current Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band. Here on out-more drama and passion with martial music.
Wife: Christa. Born in North Dakota in 1926. Live in Fremont. Nice backyard for pizza and beer parties.
In house guest conductor, Eddie is a band director, a scholar of biblical languages, and an avid outdoorsman.
Played trombone through college. Tacet for 40 years. Started playing again 1985 with Seattle Parks “Bring Your Instrument, We Furnish The Rest” program. I started with Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band about 1986 and then joined a bunch of other bands: Seattle Civic Band, The Little Band and the Washington State Letter Carriers’ Band.
When not playing tuba with the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band, La Banda Gozona, the SANCA circus band or the NW Accordionaires, Clayton is a professional pianist, performing mostly jazz. He also performs in combos, works as music director, accompanies vocalists and dancers, and teaches private piano lessons. Accordion is his latest thing. “The important thing is… it’s all music, and music is fun!”
After juggling his tuba “career” in the Sousa band and SANCA circus band with his day job, Andrew and his wonderful wife Robin adopted two wonderful children. Andrew has tried to get anyone at the SANCA circus school to teach him to juggle a tuba and two children, without success due to liability issues. He would continue to practice this at home, but his wife doesn’t approve.
Percussion, Sedentary Baton Twirler and Drill Team Leader. A bassoonist by training, in high school I was drafted into the percussion section during marching band season. I created the Sedentary Twirler in 1987 and have now fulfilled a childhood dream – having a pair of real Majorette Boots of my very own! Outside BSSB I work as a children’s librarian with Sno-Isle Libraries.
Ray is back where he started – playing Sousa with the U.S.M.C. 1st Marine Air Wing Band in Iwakuni, Japan. After a couple of years in the North Texas State University Fighting Mean Green Band, Ray hung up his marching drum. Then, seeing Blast in Dallas on July 4, 2002 re-energized him. Gigs followed with Fair Tax Drumline, Shafer Brothers Drumline, Seahawks Blue Thunder, and Sounders FC Sound Wave Band. That’s all fun, but nothing satisfies like Sousa!