BELOIT- The West Branch Alumni Association All-School Rockin' Reunion this weekend will feature a full serving of nostalgia.
The event, from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Saxon Club in Salem, will feature The Marauders, a popular local band in the late 1960s and 1970s comprised of West Branch alumni. The band last performed at the all-class reunion in 2000.
"This could be the last time The Marauders will be able to get together to perform, and we want to enjoy the evening with lots of friends and classmates," said lead singer Mark Weingart.
"If The Rolling Stones can keep on touring, so can The Marauders," added drummer and current West Branch superintendent, Scott Weingart.
According to Scott Weingart, the band, which features a four-member horn section, three guitars, bass guitar and keyboards and performs songs from artists such as Wilson Picket, Sam and Dave, The Buckinghams, The Classics Four, The Grass Roots and James Brown, played together at local teen and dance clubs such as The Attic in Salem for six years while in junior and senior high school and college. The band even played back up for Rock Hall inductee Gene Pitney at Meyers Lake Park in Canton during the summer of 1969.
But The Marauders also played at school dances, the atmosphere of which Scott Weingart said he hopes is recreated Saturday.
"We're going to be playing for a lot of people we used to play for," he said. "These kinds of bands don't really exist anymore, it was a special time in history. Younger alumni can see what these dances were like back then."
The Marauders will take the stage at 9 p.m. and feature alumni Mark Weingart, Tim Weingart, Scott Weingart, Carson Weingart, Scott Wilson, Dave Gano and Alan Howenstine joined by other original band members Bob Siddle and Kevin Rhodes. Fred Flory, longtime local musician, will be the special guest artist performing with band.
In addition to The Marauders, the all-class reunion will feature music from other eras, as well, including the 1980s and the current scene.
DJs Earl Trimmer and Son will open the event at 6 p.m. Earl Trimmer (Class of 1982 and current school board member) was the founder of Trimmer Music, aka Pacer Music, a popular disc jockey service in the 1980s. His son, Victor (Class of 2009) is a frequent disc jockey at local dances and events.
From 7:30 to 9 p.m., Cold Shot will entertain. The local band features West Branch alumni Todd McDaniel and Chris Weingart, along with band members Rich Summers and John Bush. The band has been playing together for over 10 years and is the featured band at a variety of clubs and venues in the area.
The event is open to the public with a special invitation to all graduates of West Branch High School. The entrance fee is $10 per person and includes unlimited soft drinks and snacks. Beer, wine and well drinks will be available for purchase. Wings and Jo Jo's from Tailgaters will also be featured by Tailgaters owner and 2002 West Branch graduate Adam Burton.
Tickets are available pre-sale or at the door for $10. To reserve tickets or for information call 330-938-9324.