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    Dennis Mabee

    Music has long been a source of enjoyment for me, but itís not my profession.  Iím a retired mechanical engineer from Pratt and Whitney; I moved to Shelton, CT two years ago.  I have two grown children and four grandchildren.  My late wife passed away from breast cancer in 2001.  My original home town was Lafayette, NJ, a small farming community in the northwest corner of the state near the Pennsylvania and New York state borders.  I relocated to Connecticut after graduating from college and have lived here ever since. 

    I began playing the clarinet in seventh grade and continued throughout high school participating in the schoolís wind ensemble and the New Jersey all state band.  I learned to play nearly every band instrument while in high school; and at one time or another, played every instrument except flute in the marching band.  I played the alto saxophone in the high school jazz band and the tenor sax in a five piece professional combo to make some extra money.  The high school band director at 
    the time was Keith Brion; he made music come alive for everyone.  He later served as the director of the Yale concert band for a time and has since become nationally famous as a John Philip Sousa impersonator. 

    Upon high school graduation, I entered engineering school at Virginia Tech and put my musical instruments aside in favor of a slide rule.  I maintained interest in music over the years, but rarely played until two years ago when I was invited to join with my grandson and play in the Shelton Intermediate School jazz band.  The director of the group commonly used a few ďringersĒ to act as mentors for the student musicians.  I enjoyed playing again after all those years, and it was the kids who encouraged me. 

    Looking for another outlet in which to continue playing after my grandson left the jazz band and moved on to high school, I joined the Stratford Community band last year.  Itís been great to play in a concert band again as it has been a source of enjoyment, helped me regain some more of my lost playing skills, and provided a fulfilling activity for me in retirement.  

    Iím looking forward to the upcoming season with the band;good luck to all of us!


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