Brothers take the stage to help students
By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN
A positive experience while participating in high school band at Victoria High School led to successful musical careers for brothers Tim and Anthony Pfeifer, who now live in Hays.
What better way to give back than to donate to a local high school band?
That was eight years ago, when Tim Pfeifer's daughter, Sami, was a freshman at Thomas More Prep-Marian High School.
So the Pfeifer brothers played a free gig at TMP as a fundraiser for the Monarchs' band.
It caught on, and the Pfeifers keep asking to come back.
"It's an easy benefit for us; we have a lot of fun with it," said Tim Pfeifer, who along with his older brother plays in two bands, Anthony and the Anamals and Jimmie Dee and the Fabulous Destinations.
The group that plays for the TMP fundraiser is the Anthony and the Anamals, a three-man band which features Anthony Pfeifer as the lead vocalist and guitarist; Tim Pfeifer, drums and vocals; and Ray Schmidtberger from Ellis on bass. They will play a variety of music, ranging from polkas and waltzes to country, from the 1950s to the '80s.
Kathy Dreiling Amrein, TMP band director, said the evening is especially fun for her because she has a personal connection to the Pfeifers.
In the 1970s, her dad, Benny Schulte, was the Pfeifer brothers' band teacher at Victoria, which no longer has band in its curriculum. And the first time Amrein -- Tim Pfeifer's classmate in VHS' class of '76 -- played in a band, it was on keyboards in their dad's polka band.
"There was music all the time growing up," Tim Pfeifer said. "It's what we still do."
Then, years later, Amrein taught both of Tim Pfeifer's children at TMP. Nicholas graduated in 2005 and Sami in 2009.
Even after Sami Pfeifer graduated, the Pfeifers decided to keep up the fundraiser.
"We do a few charity (gigs) every year," said Anthony Pfeifer, whose son, Nathan, is an eighth-grader at TMP Junior High.
"It's a good fit for us," Tim agreed. "We want kids to continue on with music, and this helps out their band program."
Amrein said the fundraiser will be especially helpful this year. She has 71 students in the high school band this year, the most in her 12 years at TMP. With the addition of seventh and eighth grades to the school this year came 78 more band members.
The 2013 rendition of the fundraiser is set for 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Friday in the TMP cafeteria.
Tickets are $15 per person -- people must be 21 years old to attend -- and can be purchased by calling the school office at (785) 625-6577.
"A lot of the parents come back every year because they have such a good time," Amrein said. "Some even get whole tables and bring other people with them."
One of those couples is Bill and Teresa Heimann, who have had three children graduate from TMP -- all participated in band -- and two more who are current students in the high school and junior high.
"I think (participating in) band really rounds them out more and gives them an appreciation of music," said Teresa Heimann, whose has a sixth child in fourth grade at Holy Family Elementary School. "I'm sure he will do band, too.
"We like to support the (TMP) band," she added, "and we love to dance."
Each of the TMP band members are asked to donate an item such as chips or bread, and the band program provides a meat tray for those attending the dance.
Drink set-ups and ice also are provided.
The crowd also usually is treated to a couple of local musicians who join the band on a few songs.
"We have some others sit in on that night," Anthony Pfeifer said. "It's a lot of fun."