Butte Central Band continues to rock the house
At any given Butte Central game there's a good chance you're going to be hearing a band playing. A good band. A band with possibly the most ecectic set list in town and this includes setlists from bands that have been around for years or even decades. You will hear them go from A-Ha's "Take On Me", complete with keyboard parts, to CCR's "Fortunate Son" and then back to an arena classic like "Seven Nation Army" by the White Stripes. And they cover these tunes darned near flawlessly. But they're not a band touring from out of state. They're not even one of the cover bands from around town. They are kids. They are the Butte Central Pep Band. And these kids can rock.
Russell Nelson has been at the helm of the Butte Central band for the past 8 years and the product he consistently delivers is remarkable. They are more of a rock band than a traditional marching band, but the songs they are tackling successfully take talent regardless of which kind of instrument is playing it. Russ himself is no stranger to music as he has had success as a founding member of the recently disbanded group Shellshock Lullaby and currently can be found moonlighting as the lead guitarist for Levi Blom's band among many other professional projects.
"All of them have different backgrounds," Nelson said of his pupils, adding, "They're all different levels of experience, different backgrounds. Now and then I'll get a very experienced kid but then sometimes I'll get a kid who's green, you know, just starting out and we take it from there." One of the advantages of Nelson's tutelage is that both guitar and band are offered as classes within the Butte Central curriculum, which he says helps immensely, but others are welcome to just come by and learn after school. And his students are encouraged to participate by actively picking the songs that the band learns which only adds to the level of excitement. "You know, I love watching the kids, when the song clicks and they're having fun, playing some of their favorite songs, just the looks on their faces," Nelson said with a smile.
The Butte Central Band is Trevor Phillips on guitar and vocals, Jessica Norcutt on drums, Michael Peck on guitar and drums, Aiden Durkin playing saxophone, keyboards and drums, Caden Tippett on vocals and P.J. Curry on bass and vocals.