While the band was away, Bill Long stayed and played, and played, and played some more.
"It just seemed natural to come out and play and I wanted to mix it up a bit, so instead of playing the trumpet, I brought all that I could," Long said.
All that he could includes the trumpet, harmonica and the bagpipes, which he's been playing for the last four years. Long has worked in the maintenance department at Plattsburgh State for the last 27 years. Last season, he got more involved with the community Pep band at the Cardinals hockey games. This year he was asked to lead the band.
"They asked me, 'Aren't you part of the band? Don't you go to every game?' I said yeah and they said, 'That's good enough for us.'"
Whether alone or with his band mates, Bill plays 4 times a period between the whistles. He does get to play a little extra during one special occasion, whenever the Cardinals score.
"Really we just make noise and a couple bugles charges and stuff. As I tell the kids, we're not here for fine art, it's to build up as much spirit as we can."
And Bill long keeps that spirit going in the spirit of his missing band mates.
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