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5th Street Band wraps up the season on a high note

The 5th Street Band performed at the boys basketball Section finals at Concordia College in Moorhead. Photo by Robert Williams, Perham Focus

The Perham High School 5th Street Band wrapped up their year playing at Sunday’s welcome home celebration for the state gymnastics and boys basketball teams at the high school auditorium.

This year’s band started playing together in August at a class reunion.

“It’s been just a treat,” instructor Kevin Kosiak said. “We’re a little sad this is over. We like doing this stuff.”

“Phenomenal,” Perham Head Basketball Coach Dave Cresap said of the band.

Over the year, the group played a total of six football games, a volleyball game and six basketball games, including playoff road trips in football and basketball.

Each time they play, their music gets plenty of response.

Perham’s pep band is a stretch from the traditional school band, and being unique makes for an interesting mix.

This year’s group played a more contemporary set list than last year’s Garage Band.

The bigger the games, the bigger the stages and crowds — and there is a distinct difference when listening to a Kings of Leon cover versus an opposing team’s horn section.

“I know we’re a little unorthodox,” senior Mark Murphy said.Senior Mark Murphy sang lead vocals during Perham’s state tournament basketball appearance at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

The band is typically received with praise around the gymnasiums and stadiums, and has a lot of local support from players to fans and even a few media guys and officials.

Cresap related an amusing tale, to a big laugh from Sunday’s crowd, about a referee at a Pelican Rapids game who asked during a stoppage of play, “Do you think that band will play at my daughter’s wedding?”

Murphy, who plays rhythm guitar and provides vocals, thanked both teams and the community for their support of the band.

“That makes it a lot more fun to play for you guys,” he said.

Which is what the band is about: enjoying what they do and having fun bringing that out in their music.

“We just love to play,” Kosiak said. “It’s been our pleasure to represent Perham at these events and we’re just very proud of our coaching staffs and all our students.”

The feeling is mutual between both players and band members.

“I always feel such sense of gratitude,” said Kosiak. “I wish I could tell you how many times Jordan Hein and Josh Nordick thanked me for being at a basketball game. Those young men don’t have to do that. They’re big star athletes and yet, they take five seconds to come up and shake my hand and say thanks for being there. That makes me want to be a better band director when I know that the young men that we’re playing for appreciate what we’re doing.”

This year’s lineup consisted of: Christian Bueng on lead guitar and vocals; Cameron Bueng on  drums; Mike Thompson on drums; Shane McClellan on bass; Joe Lorentz on rhythm guitar, bass, and vocals; Mark Murphy on rhythm guitar and vocals; and Patrick Murphy on keyboard and vocals.

For the state tournaments, the band was joined by Rachel Newville on tenor saxophone, Mallory McEachran on trumpet, and Chris Knutson playing alto saxophone. They got a little more cowbell from Nathan Currier, as Perham’s mascot, Buzz.

Robert Williams, Perham Focus