Arty Passes, Trombone

For some reason I decided to search for some folks who influenced and inspired me early on and found you. I hope you remember me from BHJHS back in the late 60s. I played trombone in the band, marching band, orchestra and, most memorably, the stage band. Some of my most vivid and most cherished memories of that time are playing "My Funny Valentine" and "Misty" (you gave me the solo), and I still remember rehearsals with you teaching us to improvise. I was also involved in the stage crew, which you supervised. All of these experiences have come in handy throughout my life.

I graduated from Emerson College in Boston in 1975 with a degree in television production. I left the trombone behind after high school, but while in college started playing pedal steel guitar. After college I landed a job in a TV station in Abilene, Texas and moved to a station in Austin a year later. In the early 80s I married, moved to St. Louis and had two beautiful children. In 1985, we moved back to Austin, and I started my own video production company, Sunset Video Productions, which continues to this day.

All along, I have been playing steel and singing in country bands. About five years ago, as the video business was changing drastically, I accepted a full time position with the Kevin Fowler Band, one of the most popular acts in Texas, and I have been traveling about three days a week ever since (some of our exploits are on YouTube) while still doing some video projects on the side. We mostly play in Texas and the surrounding states, but have played around the country, have done several festivals in France, traveled to Kuwait and Iraq to entertain the troops in 2007 and, most recently, we went to Washington DC to play one of the inaugural balls.

I enjoyed reading your bio (as junior high kids we assumed you had no life outside of us!) and hope you are happy and healthy. I want to thank you for being there and having such a positive influence on my life. The value of your example and the experience you gave us are immeasurable.