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Super Senior: Dr. Phil Mead - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Dr. Phil Mead

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HINESBURG, Vt. -

Every Wednesday evening, there's a live concert just behind the Hinesburg Community School.

The band Dixie 6 is setting up and people are starting to trickle in. Dr. Phil Mead is the trombonist.

"You get excited or I do... it's like before a game," he said.

First up is "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Like many Dixieland songs, it starts off slow and sad but builds into a celebration.

Phil's first instrument growing up was actually the saxophone, but when he went back to college, he picked up the trombone and saw the world.

"That's where I got started as a Dixieland trombonist," he said.

Sixty years ago, Phil was a student at Hamilton College in upstate New York and Dixieland music was the rage, especially at college parties.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You got pretty good at it.

Phil Mead: I really did get pretty good at it. Nice of you to say.

So good, he and his band, The Catatonic Five, played all over Europe and even at Carnegie Hall. The paying gigs helped put Phil through college.

"It's just hard to believe it happened that long ago," Phil said, looking at pictures.

After college, Phil went to medical school in New York City and married Ann. Dr. Mead was offered a job in Vermont, where the couple raised two children. Phil became a prominent doctor in the Burlington area, specializing in infectious diseases. Life was busy and his prized trombone collected dust. When Phil retired 13 years ago, his old sidekick came back to life.

Joe Carroll: How many times a week do you play?

Phil Mead: Every day. This is like running a marathon you... as you get older, it's particularly important.

The neighbors in Shelburne are used to the music, so is Ann.

"I enjoy it," she said. "It's a very quiet household if I don't hear it."

Phil, who's 79, plays for an hour and half along with the other band members.

Phil Mead: When everything comes together and your chops are good and your horn is working good...

Joe Carroll: It's teamwork.

Phil Mead: It's teamwork, building off one another.

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