'It's all for fun' Floyd Dryden band panhandles at Marine Park

'It's all for fun' Floyd Dryden band panhandles at Marine Park

Posted: Monday, May 17, 2010

They're not your typical buskers, but the Floyd Dryden 7th-grade band still knows how to draw a crowd.

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Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire

Playing at the downtown Marine Park alongside an open guitar case and a sign reading "Brother can you spare a dime?", the group entertained lunch-hour throngs of cruise ship visitors from the ships Radiance Of The Sea, Infinity, and the Volendam.

"It's all for fun," Floyd Dryden music director Mike Bucy said. "It just gives them a different venue than just playing for their parents."

Last year the band made $100 in donations from the audience. It was enough to get them all a treat at McDonalds.

"It is really very challenging, but fun," student Donna Banadogato said. "I think we will be playing for over a hundred people. It is nice to play outside in the open air with the mountains all around."

More than mountains were all around, as traffic slowed and drivers peered out their windows.

"I think it is great," Sally Thibodeau said, as she listened to grandson, Kenny Fox, warm up. "It is quite an honor. I love music, so that's the best part."

And then the buses came, and the seaplanes landed, and the cruise passengers found their land legs.

"It was like hearing angels when we stepped off the boat," said Clive Baker, who was visiting from Great Britain. "We followed the music ... and it was children. They are very good."

They young musicians played jazz, pop, big band, and just for fun the Canadian National Anthem. Next, the open guitar case started to slowly fill with donations.

"We're going to get McFlurries," one band members shouted to the crowd. "Thank you Juneau! We'll be here all year!"

• Contact Klas Stolpe at klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com.

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