Profile of Andy Somers
What first brought you to the New Horizons Band?
My trumpet instructor Herr Peter Ziegler encouraged me to join the band. I overcame my anxiety and came to my first session and enjoyed it. No one pointed out my sour notes or the fact I occasionally played the wrong music. I liked the group and came back again and again.
Why do you play the instrument you play?
In my gay and shallow youth , I followed my older brothers’ trumpet playing and I played a little during my teens . It was tough to practice because I was living in an apartment and had cranky sensitive neighbors. When I left for college I put my horn away for about 60 years. When my brother died, his widow told me to take some of his trumpets as this was his wish. I picked a Bach Stradivarius and a Yamaha Fluegelhorn. I then sought lessons to learn to play again. Oh those wasted years!
What has been the most enjoyable part of your experience with New Horizons?
My most enjoyable time with the band is going to Door County Band Camp. I look forward to this all year. I am still surprised that I can play all weekend. At home in practice, I lose my lip after a half hour. At camp, we keep on playing.
What has been the most challenging?
Tough times—I struggle keeping count, especially after long rests. I also have problems with fast rifts. Sometimes I pick a note and leave the rest.
What other musical bands, endeavors, or outlets do you pursue?
I have played solos at church. These are dear souls who do not criticize or complain.
What outside of playing music are you passionate about in your life?
I still keep at the law and take some cases from the Wisconsin Public Defenders Office. Last year, I represented a family in the Tucson Immigration Court. My goal is to prevent deportation of a mother and small son. So far I have been successful.