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The Big Moment! Directing Tchaikowsky's famous Nutcracker Suite! I'm so glad mother could come! And my sweetheart Dave (a human). I give God thanks!

(Kids: buy my whole calendar! $7 at the Family Music Center, 4110 SW 9th, Des Moines Iowa!)

 Join - Uncle Ed. Show family Band! A wonderful opportunity for kids who are serious about music and who don't mind being on TV!


Be on TV!

Play with the pros!

Get really good!

Play in a recording studio!

Get free coaching!

Be on a CD!

Be on a music video!

Maybe even get PAID!

Be in a band which your siblings and parents can also join!

Have fun!

No cost to join! (Although you may want lessons.)

Private lessons at half price!

10% off on music and musical merchandise!


Top: Uncle Ed., alias Dave Leach: voice, trumpet, sax, guitar, recorder, jews harp. From upper left: Elden Reisetter, bass, voice, trombone; Brian Halferty, voice, trombone; Jessica Thomas, flute, voice; Wanda Gaither, trumpet; Rob Gaither, drums, keyboard; Cliff Thompson, tenor; Chelsea Thompson, clarinet, voice, sax, bells; Kris Thompson, trumpet, trombone, jokes; Bonnie Thompson, flute, sax, voice.


You can do it! You can be play good enough to sound good with professional musicians! You don't have to practice 2 hours a day to do it, either.

But you do have to practice at least 30 minutes every day, with at least 15 minutes of it being on our band music, at least until you get the parts learned.

We have worked out a system to make this possible. It's not hard.

Step #1: Make your decision to join, and to stay with us at least four months, and then to give a one month notice before quitting.  (You can participate in one rehearsal to "try us out" before you decide.)

(Optional) if you would like to sing or play a solo, or say some jokes in between the songs, or act or dance, let me know. We will have special practices for that.

Step #2: Call for two appointments, about a week apart. These will be like private lessons, but there will be no charge.

At the first appointment, I will learn how much you can play, and I will give you a few parts to practice that are roughly tailored to your ability.

At the second appointment, after you have had a chance to practice the parts, we will go over together any sections that seem too hard to learn in a month, and simplify them; and I will give you more parts. I will also give you a CD or tape to practice with.

Step #3: Practice your parts. When you get a part learned so you can play it three times in a row perfectly, set an appointment to record in the Uncle Ed. Show Family Band recording studio.

When you have recorded all your parts, and if you were able to play your parts straight through without any mistakes, you willnot be required to attend all our Saturday morning rehearsals, although you will be welcome to come to as many as you can, to "stay in shape". You will need to come only to a small number of Final Rehearsals, and an even smaller number of outdoor filming sessions (for the musi

The Details:


How the band got its name:

The band performs on the Uncle Ed. Show on channel 15, Tuesdays at 9:30 and Saturdays at 4

The band contains actual families: parents and their children, sisters and brothers.

The band performs "G rated" music families can enjoy together.

The band members range in age from 7 to 70, like families. The abilities of musicians range from beginner to professional, just like families.


Ability Levels, Pay, and commitments

How any pay will be shared: Professionals get one "share". Semi-professional youth get 2/3 "share". Beginners get 1/3 "share". The Leader gets one extra "share", and a band member other than the leader, who gets us the paying job, gets one "share".

Example: The band gets paid $500. We have 3 Professionals, (3 shares), a Leader (1 share), 6 semi-professionals (4 shares), 3 beginners (1 share), and one of the beginners got us the job (1 share). The total is 10 shares. So the  professionals each get $50, the Leader gets $100, the semi-professionals get $33.33, the beginners each get $16.66, except that the beginner who got us the job gets $66.66.

(The amount of each "share" will be the total amount received, divided by the whole number of "shares".)

The greatest value of this pay structure is its incentive for youth in the "beginner" category to work hard to advance to the "semi-professional" category.

Professionals will record their individual parts by appointment, will join us for just one or two Final Rehearsals, and then will play several concerts with us. (They will be appreciated, of course, if they want to join us for the extra rehearsals, to help the kids, to "stay in shape", and for the fellowship.)

Semi-professionals are youth who meet the "semi-professional" criteria given below. As soon as they can play their parts straight through without mistakes during a recording session, they will be excused from the regular Saturday morning rehearsals. (Although still appreciated when they come.) They will join us for just one or two Final Rehearsals, (and one additional rehearsal before the professionals join us), and then will play several concerts with us.      

Beginners are youth who cannot meet the "semi-professional" criteria given below. They will be treated the same as Semi-professionals except for the amount of pay, when the band is paid..

Leader is the one who writes arrangements and provides and carries needed equipment. The Leader will get an additional "share"; but to the extent others help with those burdens, they will share that "share".

Booking agent is the one who gets us a paying "gig". If it is a band member who gets us a paying gig, that member will get an additional "share".

(But the Leader won't get any more.) If we use a professional booking agent, his commission will be determined by his contract, which will normally be roughly one share.


Semi-professional criteria:

The essence of "semi?professional" is sounding as good as a professional, but only after lots of practice on parts which a professional could sight read perfectly, and only on much easier parts than a professional could play.

If you sound as good as a professional, the audience won't care if you play easier parts than professionals play. (We will have professionals to do the impressive stuff.)

The audience will admire how well you play for your age.

The audience will be refreshed by being able to listen to fine music, and by being able to watch children, at the same time.

The audience will be encouraged as they watch children and adults getting along and having fun with each other. (How often does our culture provide that experience?)

Once you can do the following things, and you have learned our parts, you will sound that good. And you will probably advance to first chair in your school band.

(1) play at least 8 major scales in at least one  octave, without error, at least one note per  second, (at a very steady rhythm), and with vibrato (except clarinets and F horns). (Pros can play all 12  major scales, plus the minor scales, in 2 octaves at 4  notes per second, and play with vibrato whether low or  high, loud or soft)

(2) Play one scale slowly, in two octaves, perfectly in tune as measured by an electronic tuner. (You can buy a good tuner for $50, or you can borrow one for a week.)

(3) Play one scale with all notes accented, march?style, with clear, crisp tonguing and spaces between the notes; a second scale with  all notes legato; a third scale with a dotted eighth  and sixteenth jazz rhythm; and a fourth scale with notes alternating between very loud and very soft.

(4) Play a chromatic scale from your lowest to  highest note and back down. Any speed, but at a very  steady rhythm. (Pros can play chromatics at about 6?8  notes per second)

(5) Be able to sight read any rhythm in a first?year method book without error. (Pros can sightread any melody or rhythm in a 4th year book; and with  practice, master much more)

(6) Practice your part diligently enough that you are able to play it perfectly along with a practice tape you will be provided. (Pros don't need tapes, but we can provide them if desired.)

(7) Maintain a business?like, professional  attitude: pleasant, cheerful, kind, content to remain  in your seat, and dependable; no whining disrespect towards any group member, insults, interruptions of, or distractions from, the group's train of thought, or cruelty. Come to rehearsals promptly, and be ready to stay as much later than the scheduled quitting time as you were late in arriving, and call ahead when you can't come.


Performance opportunities

Non paying "gigs":

The Uncle Ed. TV Show, the State Fair and county fairs,  retirement homes, "children's church", Christian schools, Neighborhood Association events, political rallies, Missions programs (Bethel, Beacon of Life, etc.) and city events such as the Two Rivers Festival.

Paying opportunities:

Churches, Gospel coffeehouses, political rallies, city events such as "Jazz In July", wedding  receptions, car shows, company parties, farm machinery shows, and conventions.

(At some of these paying  opportunities, alcohol will be available to adults but will be incidental to the event, so that children may be part of the audience. We will not perform where  alcohol is so much a part of the event that they ID people to make sure they are 18.)

Our success in getting these "gigs" will depend partly on leads from band members! So keep  your eyes open, tell people about us, and let us know  when you see an opportunity!

(By the way, I have never HEARD of a band combining beginners and professionals getting paid jobs! I don't want to give you the impression that the expectation of giving beginners a paying job is based on years of having done it. I have hired professional musicians, formed bands, and gotten paid, but I've never seen it done with kids. And the Uncle Ed. Show Family Band, though it has been together for a few years, has not been quite good enough for me to want to try, until now. Now, I think we have a solid enough base to solicit paying jobs this spring. Anyway, if you're willing to try, I am! Let's be pioneers together!)


You will find us a religious group, but not a  denominational group. Our repertoire includes  Scripture?based songs, but does not deal with the issues that divide denominations. If you would like to discuss the Bible, we would love to set another time for it besides music rehearsal. We open rehearsals with prayer, but other than that the only time you are likely to hear the Bible quoted during a rehearsal will be to correct unprofessional behavior or attitudes.



By offering a unique niche persona, we can develop  the same repertoire for nearly all the potential paying  performance opportunities. We certainly have enough  religious material for churches, Jazz in July will be  happy with a mix of originals and old Jazz standards.  Company parties, car shows, and farm machinery shows  will need a mix of happy oldies, patriotic, and a few  token new country bits and a few originals. We can  market for conventions and political rallies with a more focused patriotic and "Love Your Neighbor" music show. Wedding receptions will need a mix of positive  love songs (not lust songs) from the past and present. (Titles marked with an asterisk* are Uncle Ed. originals.)


My Country Tis of Thee

Stars and Stripes Forever


Star Spangled Banner



Cheatin Cheats the Cheaters*

Daddy Don't U Walk So Fast

Down At the Courthouse*

Parents Play Children Pay*

Safe in the Womb*



Five Foot Two

Gonna Hire Me a Wino

I Love the Sound ofMoney*

Laughing Polka


Okie From Muskogie

PutAnotherLogOnThe Fire

She Got the Gold Mine

Sweet Violets

Who's Gonna Feed Them Hogs


Feel-good Oldies

Kansas City

Red Roses for Blue Lady

Singing in the Rain

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

When Sunny Gets Blue

You're Nobody Till Somebody



Am I a SoldierOfTheCross

Brother Lukewarm*

Easter Work*

I'll Fly Away

It Is No Secret


Knee Slappers

This Old House

Put YourHand in the Hand



Climb Eveiy Mountain

Oh what a Beautiful Morning

Over the Rainbow

Sound of Music

You'll Never Walk Alone


"Love Your Neighbor"

Say Look At the Sky*

Side By Side

Tie a Yellow Ribbon

Bless the Beasts Children

Ebony & Ivory

Everything Is Beautiful

For Bobby

He Ain't Heavy, He's my Bro

Let Me Be There

What a Wonderful World


"Feel Good" Oldies

Beautiful Sunday

Clarinet Polka

Country Sunshine

Green Grass of Home

I Write the Songs

Joy To the World (Jeremiah)

King of the Road

Song Sung Blue


Down By the Riverside

You Can't Take it With You*

Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head

Sunshine on my Shoulder


Old Jazz Standards

Autumn Leaves


Johnny B Goode


Current Hits


Let lt Rain

State of Mind


Positive love songs

Ain't Misbehavin'

As Long as You're Rockñ~

Catch a Falling Star

Close Enough to Perfect

Close to You

Fools Rush In

Follow Me

I Wanna Die With You*

I Walk The Line

Love & Marriage

Most Beautiful Girl

The Rose

Sentimental 01 You

When I Fall In Love

Wind Beneath My Wings

You Light Up My Life




Legally Binding Contract


I give my permission for "Lowbudget Productions" created by Dave Leach, to use video of me, to produce  music videos, in any manner dictated by his discretion. In the event the videos should in the future make money, I agree to accept, as my compensation, at least one  percent but no more than five percent of the gross sales generated by each video in which I appear, and 50% of all CD's and tapes sold by me..










             _____________Parent, if the Musician is a minor



Morally Binding Contract


In return for admission to the Uncle Ed. Show Family Band, and a free copy of any CD or videotape produced with me in it, I agree:

(1) To practice at least 30 minutes a day, average. Until my parts are recorded, at least 15 minutes of each daily practice will be on Uncle Ed. Show Family Band music. I will fill out a practice time card.

(2) To remain with the band at least four months from today's date, and to give at least one month's notice before quitting.



Musician_________________________ Date _______________________





Music, in general, instills habits of self-discipline like no other study commonly available to children. Sports requires a regular time commitment, but there is always a coach watching over you to make sure you are working. Academic subjects require homework, working all by yourself, but only sometimes, and if you are smart you can slide by without it. And neither sports, nor academics, expect work all year long. Only music pressures you to practice regularly, every day of the week, all year long, with no coach over you showing you what to do or getting after you if you get lazy. Even if you are smart! This degree of self discipline: making a commitment, fulfilling it even when you are not in the mood, remembering what to do even with no one watching over you, not giving up but working patiently, faithfully, towards a standard of excellence years away, is the skill needed to start your own business; to make marriage work; to reach some wonderful, but seemingly impossible goal; to, in general terms, "be successful". Music students who stay with it at least four years have, on average, 10% higher SAT scores in both math and English!

For these reasons, encourage music study! Be patient when your children fall short of standards higher than for any other course of study! Don't make quitting easier than succeeding, but give them the support to succeed!

The Uncle Ed. Show Family Band, in particular, offers a powerful supplement to public school music instruction, by using regular feedback from a recording studio, electronic tuners, and metronomes, to help students play more precisely than is possible in a public school setting. This experience will help your child(ren) move towards First Chair at school. And of course you will long treasure the professionally produced CD's and music videos featuring your child(ren)!

A recording studio is unlike any experience your child(ren) will have in school. If even a single note is out of tune, or at the wrong time, not to mention the wrong note, we will hear the mistake as clearly as dropping a bowling ball on a stack of windows, and it will have to be played over again.

Although this will seem hard, a recording studio will make your child(ren) a better musician, in a shorter period of time, than any other musical experience; even live performance.

Our scheduling is flexible. If the parts are mastered early, attendance will not be required at all the Saturday morning rehearsals. Transportion may not even be a problem; we have been able to arrange quite a bit of carpooling, so far.

Joining our band is a commitment: you must pledge to remain with us at least four months. Lots of time will be invested in specially arranging parts for you, and it will be very difficult for us if we learn arrangements that depend on you, and you leave us before we have opportunity to perform them.

Please check our extended calendar, and let us know of any conflicts. When we get new dates, check with school music teachers, coaches, church, and everyone else who might later tell you about some obligation that conflicts. Don't just wait for them to tell you of scheduled events, but tell them the dates you are needed for our band, and ask them if they are thinking of scheduling anything on those dates.

There is no charge to record Uncle Ed. Show Family Band music in our studio. If you want to record yourself on music which will not be done with our band, the special rate for you will be $15 per hour. The rate for non-band members is $40 an hour.





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