Keeping it Classic
by Gia Rassier '10
Most students don't see their professors on the weekends, much less get the chance to watch them jam out to classic tunes from some of music's biggest stars. Then again, most professors aren't a part of a 12-piece funk band with a strange name and a lot of character.
The name Post-Traumatic Funk Syndrome was born during an e-mail brainstorming session in the summer of 2006
and the band has grown into a local sensation featuring five Cobber faculty and alumni.
"The name was initially suggested as a joke, but the more that we thought about it, the more we loved it," says Dr. Nat Dickey, who plays trombone and teaches in Concordia's music department. Other members of the band include faculty Russ Peterson, saxophone; Doug Neill, bass; and alumni Nick Peterson '02, drums; and Sarah Morken '04, vocals.
The odd moniker may have been a joke, but the band isn't. PTFS forms one of the area's most popular cover bands, a high quality group of musicians with a unique blend of age, style and talent. From Stevie Wonder and the Blues Brothers to Aretha Franklin and Billy Idol, PTFS plays cover songs from the '60s and beyond that showcase the band's unbelievable horn section. "These guys really scream," says Nick Peterson. "They make us very unique in the Fargo-Moorhead music scene, so we try to utilize that characteristic as much as possible."
It works. Will Wiebolt '10, Mahnomen, Minn., fell in love with the saxophone the first time he heard PTFS perform at Studio 222, a Fargo, N.D., venue.
"PTFS has an amazing way of drawing the crowd into a performance," says Wiebolt. "The passion and drive to play classic music well is so evident that it gets the audience pumped up and even more engaged in their music." Whether the crowds are dancing, swaying or just soaking up the sound, PTFS has reinvented the essence of what made people fall in love with rock music in the first place.
"Primarily, it's the music - we have a great repertoire of classic music played extremely well," says Dickey.
"It's the rarity of this high quality that still carries that same gut-level reaction that makes people like it through the decades."
Photo: Sheldon Green