Gateway City Big Band

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Paul ShankerPAUL SHANKER
Tenor Sax

Paul is a graduate of Fort Zumwalt South High School, as well Webster University (Jazz Performance) and UMSL (Education). As a teacher of elementary music for the Fort Zumwalt School District, he joins a growing group of music educators in Gateway. He also runs a private lesson studio, coaches his kids’ soccer team and works as a freelance musician.

Music wasn’t Paul’s first love; there were lots of other classes he wanted to take. But his parents convinced him that music was worth the effort and as they won’t soon let him forget, they were right!

Playing with Gateway gives Paul an opportunity to play on a regular basis and he enjoys the quality of musicians we have in the band.  As a teacher he also appreciates how the GCBB supports students with their music education.
 
From one of his freelance gigs, Paul tells a story of being hired by an R&B producer. “The producer needed some horn backgrounds and a bit of a solo at the end of the track.  The track I recorded went on to become ‘Cool Wit It’ by Murphy Lee and his album went gold.  I got stiffed on the payment.”  We checked it out on YouTube and it sounds great, but we think he should stick to playing with Gateway.


Gary BuecheleGARY BUECHELE
Baritone Sax

Long-time substitute sax player Gary Buechele is now officially the baritone sax player that anchors our front row. Gary is proficient on tenor, alto, clarinet, and his beautiful-sounding bass clarinet. What an investment in this arsenal of reeds!

A resident of Bellefontaine Neighbors, he's engaged in production in the metal finishing business. Gary is a member of the St. Charles Municipal Concert Band and its related big band. Hobbies include building model airplanes and miniature railroad trains.

His favorite swing bands include Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Carter and Glenn Miller. That makes sense with all of those clarinet leads that Gary plays in the GCBB Miller arrangements.

 

 


Tim KarthTIM KARTH
Alto Sax

Tim joined us in November of 2017. His interest in music came early thanks to his parents exposing him to musicals, the symphony and local concerts. When he was the only 6th grader to make the junior high jazz band, there was no denying his love of the genre and he received his first jazz CD. “I was hooked,” he now says.

Having graduated from Maine East High School near Chicago, he achieved his bachelor's degree in Music Education at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois and master's degree from the American Band College of Southern Oregon University. He’s been teaching now for fifteen years, the last three at St. Clair High School in St. Clair, Missouri.

When asked about how he came to Gateway, Tim explained, “For twelve years, when I lived and taught in Illinois, I played in a great group called the Central Illinois Jazz Orchestra. It was a band made up of music educators and college professors. When my wife got her job in St. Louis, I started searching for a place to play. Matt McKeever brought me into a Gateway rehearsal and the rest is history.”

Tim has clearly had some unique playing experiences, including playing with and under the direction of Allen Vizzutti, Wayne Bergeron, the Capitol Saxophone Quartet, Patrick Sheridan, Frank Ticheli, Colonel Lowell Graham, Colonel Arnold Gabriel, Eugene Rousseau, the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, the St. Louis Wind Symphony, Robert W. Smith, and more! He’s also played at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, Vienne Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Um-bria Jazz Festival (Italy) and various chorale festivals in Ireland, London, and Wales.

Tim’s hobbies include spending time with his wife Ashley, his dog, and his motorcycle. Let’s add “playing with Gateway” to that list!


John PhillipsJOHN PHILLIPS

John is a graduate of Jefferson City High School, class of ’72. He felt he was fortunate to have Jerry Hoover as his high school band director as Hoover encouraged him to join the jazz band, necessitating a switch from clarinet to alto sax. Hoover introduced his students to a number of sensational jazz artists, including when his high school jazz band hosted the North Texas One O'Clock Band and had Clark Terry, Urbie Green, Gary Foster, and Rich Matteson as guest soloists! They also went to see the big bands of Kenton, Ellis, Ferguson, Basie, Herman, and Bill Chase. The band had two student teachers from MU - young guys named Jim Widner and Mike Matheney.

He went to the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, graduated with a music education degree in 1976, and finished a masters from Missouri State U in 1986. He played in two different rock 'cover' bands. They played the music of Steely Dan, Chicago, KC and the Sunshine Band, Stevie Wonder and the Doobie Brothers everywhere - in country clubs, bars, college student unions, high school homecoming dances, sorority formals, and on flatbed trucks with generators for fraternity keggers in a cow pasture.

He taught in Missouri public schools for 30 years, mostly as an assistant band director. One of his bands was even chosen to be Missouri's representative high school marching band in President Reagan's first inaugural parade in 1980. The majority of his teaching was in Union, Missouri and he still volunteers at Union High School, helping students with all-district audition music and solos for the Spring Festival. He also enjoys playing clarinet in the St Louis Wind Symphony and saxophone in a local combo that plays around Union, Hermann, and Washington, Missouri.

After retiring from teaching in 2007, he worked on cruise ships part time for the next 8 1/2 years as a saxophone sideman, never more than five to six months a year. He was lucky to work mostly on luxury ships that did not repeat their itineraries and was able to explore hundreds of beautiful ports around the world.

John says, “I love trying to 'run with the big dogs' in the Gateway City Big Band. I've never thought I was 'the star' of any group I've ever played with, and GCBB is no different.” John’s been a sub for us for quite a while but it’s nice to finally have him as a permanent member of the sax section!


Read about the other band members

Music Director  The Vocalists   Sax Section  Trumpet Section  Trombone Section  Rhythm Section  Retired Band Members