Red State Blues Band lifts students from back-to-school blues

The Red State Blues Band welcomes back students on their way to classes in the Bosco Student Plaza on Aug. 25, 2015. (Emily Starkey | The Collegian)

Amid students rushing between classes and crowds gathered around booths and giveaway tents, the Red State Blues Band sat up on a stage entertaining stragglers.

The RSBB performed Tuesday at noon, during the peak lunch hour outside the K-State Student Union in Bosco Plaza. While getting some fresh air between classes or stopping at the food court to grab a quick bite, students and faculty enjoyed the sounds of the Red State Blues Band.

While Week of Welcome events are advertised, some students don’t know about the events. Cassie Bullock and Jessica Riley, juniors in hospitality management, said they didn’t know the band would be playing but were glad they followed the sound of music to find the source.

“We were just walking by,” Bullock said.

Bullock and Riley stayed awhile to enjoy the fresh air and live music. They said they love it when they stumble upon events at Bosco Plaza.

“I would normally stop whenever I see something in Bosco Plaza,” Riley said. “I think activities that we have during the Week of Welcome during the beginning of the school year are a lot of fun.”

The band is comprised of eight members, intent on keeping their authentic blues sound. All members of the band are K-State faculty or staff members.

The music comes to life in the hands of John Blair, professor of biology and guitarist; Walter Dodds, professor of biology and harmonica player; Steve Dyer, professor of electrical and computer engineering and keyboard player; Bernd Friebe, research professor in plant pathology and guitarist; Seth Galitzer, systems coordinator for computing and information sciences, saxophone player and vocalist; Mike Herman, bassist; and Dean Vellenga, information technology consultant and drummer.

The band had a guest appearance by Brian Niehoff, associate provost and professor of management. Niehoff jumped up on stage and joined the band, showing off his harmonica skills.

Nick Webb, sophomore in computer science, said he was excited to see the band play again. The RSBB plays almost every year as part of the Week of Welcome.

“Yeah it happens every year,” Webb said. “I always look forward to it, it’s always good music.”

The band entertained the crowd for an hour with upbeat songs. The RSBB has 14 original songs but play a steady mix of standard songs in their repertoire. This year the band celebrated its 10-year anniversary. The band has existed since 2005 when a group of professors came together over their passion of music.

Photos from the event:

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(Photos by Emily Starkey and Parker Robb)