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Father, son enjoy playing together at Baby Boomer concert

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Bauches

Kurt Bauche and son Kyle have been playing together at the Baby Boomer Reunion Concert Series annually since 2008.

Bob Dylan and Jakob Dylan. Paul McCartney and James McCartney. Waylon Jennings and Shooter Jennings. Enrique Iglesias and Julio Iglesias. Hank Williams, Hank Williams II and Hank Williams III.

These famous fathers and sons are well-known worldwide and are accomplished musicians.

The Parkland has its own locally famous father-and-son duos. One of these duos is from Farmington.

Kurt Bauche and his son Kyle are both musicians who play together in the annual Baby Boomer Reunion Concert series.

Kurt worked as band director at the Farmington R-7 School District for 30 years. He retired in 2012 and has been enjoying life with his wife Julie.

He currently serves as president of the Farmington R-7 School Board and is chair of Memorial United Methodist Church. He’s also active in the Farmington Elks Lodge, SEMO Seniors Golf Association and Mineral Area Council on the Arts. He serves as vice president for Mineral Area Fine Arts Academy.

When Kurt isn’t volunteering, playing golf, cooking or spending time with his family, he enjoys playing his trombone and tuba. In fact, he enjoys playing both instruments at local events and in the Community Band and Kicks Band.

When Kurt was growing up, his parents encouraged him to pursue his passion for music because they did not have the opportunity to do so themselves. He took piano lessons in fourth grade but didn’t like it.

“My mom wouldn’t let me quit, so I cried,” he said, “so she gave in.”

This is Kurt’s biggest regret in his musical life.

He started playing trombone in fifth grade at Union R-7 School District under the direction of Bill Wood. He played through high school and switched to tuba in ninth grade. He also took private voice lessons in tenth grade through the beginning of college. He took private tuba lessons during his senior year with Ron Curtis.

“Ron is one of the people who convinced me to be a music teacher,” said Kurt.

He performed in every possible ensemble while attending Southeast Missouri State University. He took lessons one summer from Roger McInulty, former tubist with the St. Louis Symphony. When he went to graduate school at University of Louisville, he joined the musicians’ union. He played with the Kentucky Arts Brass Quintet; Louisville Symphony; and countless rodeos, ice shows and horse races.

“That was such a joy,” said Kurt. “I wish I had committed to performing earlier in my life.”

Kurt’s involvement in Baby Boomers transpired after he played in a few events with Dr. Kevin White, or “Doc White.”

“I played in the first Boomer concert which was to indoctrinate the Centene Center and featured the music of Chicago, and that was a blast,” he said.

Of his experiences in the past 19 Baby Boomer concerts," Kurt said, “You have this unwritten and unspoken vibe that transmits through you as you play. Of course, I am great friends with everyone on stage. Some of the folks I only see once a year.”

He said playing in the annual show is a “true joy.” One of the most enjoyable and memorable aspects of the show is performing with his son Kyle. They have played together for more than 10 years in the Baby Boomer concerts. His late wife Sue performed in a few shows before she passed away.

“Singing in a rock and roll band was not her cup of tea,” he said. “But the year that all three of us first performed together, that was neat. I believe that may have been 2010, three years before she passed away.”

Kurt said all of the Baby Boomer shows have been memorable, but he recalled a funny instance from the year the Star Wars “Cantina Band” was featured.

“I was playing tuba (sousaphone, the one you wear) and I raised the music stand,” he said, “and the top of the stand came loose and hit me in the head during the show!”

The summer before his sophomore year is when Kyle first participated on stage at a Baby Boomer concert.

“I remember going to the very first Baby Boomer concert, which was the Tribute to Chicago,” he said, “to watch my dad play. And ever since that first concert I dreamed of being on that stage and playing drums for such a great show.”

He said White contacted his dad during the spring of 2008 to see if Kyle would be interested in playing at the next concert.

“I was ecstatic!” he said. “And with the exception of 2013 and 2014 when I was with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, I have played in every one since.”

With as many Baby Boomer concerts that he’s participated in, it’s difficult for Kyle to choose a favorite. But he said the Jackpot show and the ABC show were a lot of fun to play in because of the songs for which he was chosen to play drums.

“My favorite songs to play on drums are ones that either showcase big fills or solos on the drums or that have a ‘fat funky’ beat to them, ones that just make you want to dance or move,” he said. “I will say, getting to share the stage with my dad and play together is always rewarding, so any show I am playing with him (which has been every one I have participated in) is a favorite for me.”

Kyle has met so many incredible people. For some of these new friends, this Baby Boomer Reunion Concert is the only chance he gets to see them. So, it’s special when he travels from Columbia to his hometown of Farmington to reunite with these people to reconnect.

He feels the concerts have also become a reunion for some audience members who meet for the annual tradition of watching the show together.

“This show has turned into a reunion for the performers as well,” said Kyle, “because we can all reconnect and share a stage and make some awesome music together.”

He looks forward to getting that initial Baby Boomer email from White a few months after the current year’s show is completed to begin planning the next year’s concert.

The musicians all gather together annually on Thursday for a pre-rehearsal dinner in the lobby of the Centene Center. There are plenty of hugs, greetings and catching up with each other.

“I love how this show has brought so many local people together and continues to be an enormous success every year,” said Kyle. “I am so thankful for all the hard work Kevin puts into it every year and the hard work all the performers put in to put on a fantastic concert.”

He said, “And I am so thankful that I am so fortunate to be involved.”

Kyle, his wife and daughter live in Columbia. He’s a distribution technician for MU Healthcare

He plays drums in a funk band called Mobile Funk Unit. The band is a 10-plus member horn band, including trombone, trumpet, mellophone, saxophones, tuba, electric guitar and multiple percussion. They’ve played everything from parades, wedding receptions, film festival events, private events and more.

Kyle recalled traveling with his dad to marching band festivals when he was young. He also traveled to choir festivals with his mom, Sue, who was the choir director at Farmington.

He started taking piano lessons around age 8. He went with his sister Kate who had already been taking lessons from Pam Ruffin, and he continued to play piano through high school.

“My earliest inspirations for learning piano were my mom Sue and sister Kate, both of who could play me under the table,” he said, “which also helped my motivation to continuously try and get better.

Kyle got his first drum set at age 8. He started playing on his own but then began taking lessons from Ron Farrow at age 11.

He said taking private music lessons really helped him progress faster as a player than doing it on his own.

“God bless my parents for enduring all the racket I produced,” he said. "I was always pushed to do my best and to practice by both of my parents. They told me if I was going to do something, to make sure and do it right and with purpose.”

They were Kyle’s support system while he was living at home and further supported him after he left Farmington to attend University of Missouri-Columbia.

“Being exposed to as much music as I was when I was young opened so many opportunities to grow and learn,” he said. “Being a child of two music educators, it was hard to not be exposed and want to be involved and aspire to be a musician.”

Kyle also had his dad Kurt as his own band director, which Kyle described as an “awesome experience.”

“Not only did I get to have him as a parent, but when I finally got into high school and played in his groups, I got to see the professional side of my father.”

Although Kyle saw his dad teach before he got to high school and was around to see him in “teacher mode” plenty of times, he didn’t really get the full experience until he started high school.

“I got to learn from him as my band director and not my dad,” said Kyle. “I feel so lucky that I had the childhood and young adulthood with him because I really learned so much from him at home and at school. I feel special knowing that not everybody has had the experience I have had, other than my sister who also had him as a band director.”

Kyle plays “everything percussion.” From classical percussion including mallet instruments such as marimba, vibraphone, xylophone and glockenspiel to timpani, snare and bass drum, toms, and multiple percussion (toms, “toy” instruments such as wood blocks, tambourine, triangle, crash cymbals, cowbell, shakers and more).

“I played in jazz band in high school and college, so drum set is another avenue,” he said, “and I also participated in pep band style drum set as well. I am versed in world percussion, which includes Latin instruments like congas, bongos, cajon, etc., and played in steel band in college (think steel drum-esque music, tropical and “island music”).”

Kyle has played and marched in many places, from his hometown of Farmington to across the nation and even in foreign countries. He’s earned numerous awards and recognition for his musical talents. He’s made many friends in his musical journeys.

But one thing is for sure: he’s made special bonded relationships while making music with other people who love to make music, too.

“There is always something exciting about being on stage performing, and I do not know if I can put it into words,” he said. “It just always feels comfortable and ‘right.’”

From taking piano and drum lessons as a young boy to watching his dad Kurt play at the first Baby Boomer concert Kyle attended, and then dreaming of playing on that stage himself, Kyle has had incredible opportunities through music.

One of his favorite experiences has and continues to be sharing the stage and making memories with his dad.

This weekend is the 2022 Baby Boomer Reunion Concert series’ “The 20th Anniversary Spectacular.” The shows take place Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Call the Farmington Civic Center at 573-756-0900 for ticket information.

Don’t miss the final feature story in Monday’s Daily Journal on two more talented Baby Boomer musicians who performed in this weekend’s concerts.

Pam Clifton is a contributing writer for the Daily Journal

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