THE ALICE IN WONDER BAND
Movie soundtracks (& for that matter, background music in general) were a logical development for Eberle & I because we started playing together by composing & performing background music for plays put on by the high school drama troupe in McCall, Idaho.  [If you came here some way other than our main page, you can put this in context by looking at Five & Dime Jazz]

Along with crack violinist Lois Fry, we wrote & performed a soundtrack for a production of
Alice in Wonderland in '98, then (again with Lois) provided music for the troupe's production of Under Milkwood in '99.  After taking a couple of years off, we composed & performed a soundtrack for Antigone in 2001.  This was a bit of an extravaganza— in addition to making use of some talented singers in the drama troupe, our trio expanded to a quintet with the addition of Art Troutner on oboe & Barb Dixon on djembe. 

This group, along with singers Kati Sheldon & Deadre Chase, then became The Alice in Wonder Band.  The group later grew again with the addition of clarinetist Bob George & drummer/percussionist Deb Cahill.

The Alice in Wonder Band was, in the words of one fan, “eclectic as all get out.”  We performed a number of Eberle’s original compositions, but we also played material ranging from Erik Satie on uke, electric bass & clarinet to “Baby Elephant Walk” with a slide whistle as one of the lead instruments.  Eberle sometimes used poems for lyrics, & did settings for Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Bishop, H.D., & Joanne Kyger, as well as for one of my poems (you can hear that
here).  Our shows were infrequent, but they were extravaganzas, complete with dance routines & elaborate sets contructed by our good friend Lorie Davison-Hohs.  Not everything worked, but a lot did, & we (almost) always had fun trying.   The Alice in Wonder Band played together from 2002-2004.

One of the high points for the Alice in Wonder Band was our trip to San Francisco in fall of 2003.  We played at the Hemlock Tavern for good pal Chris Leone’s own
monthly extravaganza, “The Smallest Show in Town”—how many small town Idaho bands get to share the stage with the world recorder holder for solving the Rubix cube?
HERE ARE SOME SONGS PERFORMED BY
THE ALICE IN WONDER BAND:

Plum Alley: Deadre Chase: vocal; Eberle Umbach: piano; Lois Fry: violin; Art Troutner: oboe; Bob George: clarinet; John Hayes: electric bass; Barb Dixon: djembe; Deb Cahill: percussion]
There’s a Certain Slant of Light: Deadre Chase: vocal; Eberle Umbach: piano; Lois Fry: violin; Art Troutner: oboe; John Hayes: electric bass
Cheek to Cheek: Deadre Chase: vocal; Eberle Umbach: piano; Art Troutner: oboe; Bob George: clarinet; John Hayes: baritone uke]
The Wampus Cat Stomp: Kati Sheldon: vocal; Eberle Umbach: marimba; Loius Fry: violin; Art Troutner: oboe; Barb Dixon: djembe; Deb Cahill & Nina Trainor: Boomwhackers™

all songs are by Eberle Umbach except lyrics to
There's a Certain Slant of Light are by Emily Dickinson; lyrics to The Wampus Cat Stomp are by "traditional," Eberle Umbach & John Hayes; & Cheek to Cheek is by Irving Berlin (© Irving Berlin 1935).  Eberle's songs are © Plum Alley Productions 2001-2008
& FINALLY: Check out the gallery of Alice in Wonder Band pix here.
The full Alice in Wonder Band line-up:

Art Troutner : Oboe, Soprano & Tenor Recorders, Mandolin
Barb Dixon: Djembe, Conga, Percussion,  Police Whistle, Washboard
Bob George: Clarinet, Mandolin, Guitar
Deadre Chase: Vocals
Deb Cahill: Doumbek, Djembe, Conga, Percussion, Boomwhackers™
Eberle Umbach: Marimba, Piano, Djembe, Melodica, Concert Bells, Flute, Bass, Concert Ukulele
John Hayes: Electric Bass, Plectrum & 5-String Banjos, Guitar, Concert, Tenor, Baritone & Banjo Ukuleles, Police Whistle
Kati Sheldon: Vocals, Percussion
Lois Fry: Violin, Viola, Slide Whistle

& occasional guests:
Dani Leone: steel drum
Nina Trainor: Boomwhackers™
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