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Local Musicians to Appear in Baseball Movie

October 6, 2006

Category: Faculty, Music

By Scott Jenkins, Salisbury Post

Eight local musicians have been selected to play in a movie being filmed in the Charlotte region.

"We're kind of excited about it," Dr. Stephen Etters said Tuesday. Etters is associate professor of music education at Catawba College and a member of the Catawba Brass.

All five members of the Catawba Brass will take part in the film along with three other Rowan County musicians.

They've been selected for "The Third Miracle," a feature film based on the true 1957 story of a group of poor, ragtag boys from Monterrey, Mexico who, says, "defy extraordinary odds to become became the first foreign team to win the Little League World Series."

And the Web site says they won the championship game by posting the only perfect game in Little League World Series history. The movie "looks like it could be a classic" along the lines of "Miracle" and "Remember the Titans," the site says.

Filming will also take place in Texas and Mexico, according to published reports. The Rowan musicians got involved through Libby Stone, a Salisbury resident who owns a talent agency in Charlotte.

Stone said the movie opportunity grew out of another project. A casting director called a while back asking if she knew of a Dixieland band that could play in a commercial being filmed in Cherryville to introduce Toyota to NASCAR. She didn't have to look far. Her husband, Dr. Clyde Young, leads a jazz and Dixieland band, the Music Makers Brass.

A casting director for the movie looking for musicians heard from a colleague "that everyone loved the band ... about how great they were for the Toyota commercial," Stone said. "So it was just word of mouth."

For the movie, the musicians' role is to recreate the kind of brass band that played at many ballgames in the 1950s when "they had a lot of entertainment," Etters said. They'll play the national anthem and have a couple more songs ready, including "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," just in case, he said.

Stone said filming involving the local musicians was to start Monday or Tuesday, but has been delayed as filmmakers select a ballpark and look for youngsters to portray baseball players. The musicians are scheduled to be fitted with their 1950s-era band uniforms in mid-October.

Etters said the musicians will be paid "whatever the union scale is," but might get "a couple of dollars for residuals" if their playing makes the final cut. They're not doing it for the money, though.

"It's nice to be able to participate in something like that," he said. "We're just interested in the whole process, to see how that works."

Taking part in the filming are Etters on trombone, Greg Hall and Mickey Driver on trumpet, John Olsen on french horn and Brad Gulley on tuba, all Catawba Brass members; George Hill on trumpet and Ralph Hair on baritone horn, both members of the Catawba College and Community Band; and Dr. Clyde Young on trumpet.

The movie is scheduled for release in 2007.


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