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Chris Culpepper: Trumpet

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Member since? 

November 2018

How did you hear about/find us? 

Martin Wojtyna invited me and I’m glad he did!


What is your musical background/history? 

I grew up(Some would argue this...) in Huntsville, playing in The 13th Hour, a local big band, the Huntsville Symphony and the UAH Wind Ensemble. Huntsville is a fine arts mecca and opportunities abound. Went to Alabama for my Music Education hours and marched with the Million Dollar Band, played in the symphonic band, orchestra, student brass quintet and faculty brass quintet. Graduation found me heading to Birmingham in 1980 to teach band. I loved teaching but couldn’t get used to starving, so after two years I took early retirement and found a job where increased effort equaled increased income. In the following years I played weddings and church services, sang tenor with The Birmingham Choral Guild, played trumpet and lead the music at Rock Creek Mission Church(Smith Lake) and eventually joined Celebration Winds. I packed up my horn early in 2016 and realized a year later how much I missed playing. The Birmingham Wind Ensemble and CCB were kind enough to take me in for chop therapy. I’m still in rehab. 

What is your favorite “Band Song” to play? 

I’m a sucker for Gustov Holst, Percy Grainger, Ralph Vaughn Williams and well arranged Christmas music.

What do you do when you are not playing music? (work/hobbies/for fun???)

I’ve been an Insurance Broker for almost thirty years and have had the pleasure to meet many wonderful people. I love to cook and to shop; the wonder of searching for a new recipe and finding just the right ingredients.   I asked Patty to marry me in 1997 and she said “Of course!”, making me the happiest man alive! We married the following January and soon built our weekend home on Smith Lake. We spend every available weekend there and enjoy sharing time, food and wine with friends.


What type of animal/breed of dog/cat/bird/fish/other etc…. best reflects your personality and why? 

I’m a dog. I’ve been called worse, but that’s a story for another day. Reasons; Loyalty and a need for love and companionship. I do draw the line at fleas, being kept outdoors and eating that awful dog food

What is your superpower? 

My superpower is listening. That’s of course, when I remember to stop talking. 

Tell us something fun! You know, like "That one time at band camp..." Or elsewhere. (funny anecdote/story/amazing coincidence/hidden talent/celebrity encounter, etc...)? 

A number of years ago, before Al Gore invented the Internet, I read an ad in the Bham News for a vintage Bach Trumpet for sale. It could be seen the following week at The Club. I have a collection and brought one of my own for comparison. To my surprise, the seller was Herb Alpert. So I got to play and hang with him for awhile. Nice guy!

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