Background on Members of the
Yachats Big Band

Tami Atkinson

PROFESSIONAL/EXPERIENCE - Professional – Operations Manager for the Lincoln County Communications 9-1-1 dispatch center in Newport , employed since 1984.

Musical Background: Saxophone, clarinet, piano, vocals, guitar, flute.

Performance experience includes: Waldport High School Band, Waldport High School Choir, University of Oregon Contemporary Chorus, Music In May Honors Music Festival, Lincoln County Concert Band, Pacific Coast Wind Ensemble and the with Yachats Big Band since October 2007.

Eric Bigler

PROFESSIONAL/EXPERIENCE - Born in Palo Alto and began trombone with the school district music program in 5th grade. Played through high school and then dropped the instrument for nigh on to 50 years. Began playing four years ago with the Pacific Coast Wind Ensemble, and began subbing with the Big Band, gradually insinuating myself into the 3rd chair through sublime Machiavellian maneuvers. I hope to stay there until someone notices me and throws me out. Currently studying trombone with Fred Schmale, Lincoln Pops, although he'd rather this not be generally known.

Professionally, I taught biology, math and a bunch of other stuff at Tulelake High School before leaving for the Portland area in the late 70's. Joined the Clackamas County Education Service District there and worked with them for a couple of decades on assessment programs.

Jim Cameron - Conductor

PROFESSIONAL/EXPERIENCE - Resident of Tidewater, Oregon - Jim moved to the Oregon coast a few years ago and is the owner and baker of the Seadog Bakery and Cafe in Waldport. Jim received his undergraduate degree in Geography/Environmental Science from California State University, Hayward. He is an accomplished pianist and worked his way through school by playing in dance bands. He played all types of music, including, he moans, Disco. Jim went on to receive numerous teaching credentials from Sonoma State College which led him to teaching in the public schools of nearby St. Helena, California in the heart of the Napa Valley. There he taught biology, history, social sciences, physical education and all forms of music education. He was the conductor of both the middle and high school bands. Dripping with sarcasm, he says that among his favorite numbers in Pomp and Circumstance March #1 by Edward Elgar which he estimates he has either played or conducted a zillion times. He was delighted to hear that the first violin playing robot, performed Pomp and Circumstance at its world debut. We think Jim is a great conductor, and his clients think that he is a great baker and chef. He is also a good story teller!

Dress photo of married members - Joe and Pat Chapman, residents of YachatsJoe Chapman

EDUCATION - Most of my youth was spent in Oxnard and West Los Angeles in southern California. I graduated from University High School in Los Angeles and attended UCLA for two years. I had started playing the trombone in school, at about the 7th grade. My first two high school years were spent at Oxnard High School where I met my future wife, the love of my life, Pat, in the high school band. I also played in the UCLA band. After marriage, with family and work taking our full attention, the trombones found a quiet resting place in the closet.

PROFESSIONAL - My early work years were spent as a Psychiatric Technician for six years while I was finishing college at San Jose State College.

After receiving teaching credentials and several special education credentials, I worked as a special education teacher and as a speech and language therapist for the next thirty-one years, with twenty six years spent working for the El Dorado County Office of Education in Placerville, California.

EXPERIENCE - Our sons all played instruments in the school bands, and after their graduations, Pat and I decided to explore our musical interests again. That included playing in a local symphony for a number of years and several concert bands in Placerville and the Sacramento area. Upon retirement, with a move to the Oregon coast, it was expected that duets would be our probable musical activity.

That has not been the case as we have played in the Lincoln County Concert Band which was recently joined with the Florence Community Band to form the Pacific Coast Wind Ensemble, as well as the Coast Brass Quartet, the Florence Brass quintet, and for the last eleven years, the Yachats Big Band.

Playing swing or dance music was a new and exciting experience. About three years ago I started playing the bass trombone which I enjoy tremendously. Being a part of the Yachats Big Band has been great fun, and it has provided many musical experiences that I never dreamed of having in my retirement. It is a great pleasure to watch the dancers and see the audience enjoying our YBB music.

Pat Chapman

EDUCATION - Oxnard High School Band, Oxnard, Ca. All So. California High School Band B.O.A. in Music and Fine Arts

• San Diego State College Band, San Diego,Ca.
• Ventura College Band, Ventura, Ca.
• Sacramento Valley Symphonic Band, Sacramento, Ca.
• American River Concert Band, Sacramento, Ca.
• Theater El Dorado Pit Orchestra, Placerville, Ca.
• Sierra Symphony, Placerville, Ca.
• Lincoln County Concert Band, Newport,Or.
• Coast Brass Quartet. Yachats, Or.
• Yachats Big Band, Yachats, Or.
• Florence Brass Quintet, Florence, Or.
• Pacific Coast Wind Ensemble, Lane/Lincoln Counties, Or.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE Retired: Licensed Psychiatric Technician Camarillo/Agnew State Hospitals
• Emergency Room Technician - El Dorand County Hospital, Placerville, Ca.
• Office Manager - Placerville Veterinary Clinic, Placerville, Ca.

Vicki Cox playinf the trumpetVicki Cox

PROFESSIONAL/EXPERIENCE - Vicki Cox is an enthusiastic import from Eugene.

In addition to the Yachats Big Band, She has played with such big bands as “Swing Shift,” “The Lincoln Pops,” and “Blue Skies,” as well as the internationally-known “Oregon Jazz Band” traditional jazz combo. Currently she co-leads the “Calamity Jazz Band” based in Eugene, which is also a traditional, or “Dixieland” jazz group.

John DeGiorgio

PROFESSIONAL/EXPERIENCE - John worked as a chemist for the Dow Corporation.

In addition to the Yachats Big Band, He has played in the following musical groups:
• San Ramon (California) Jazz Ensemble.
• Pacific Reeds Saxophone Quartet, Yachats.
• The Jetties 1996 and The New Jetty Band 2004 Florence.
• Florence Saxophone Quartet
• Florence Community Concert Band
• Central Coast Clarinets, Florence
• Pacific Coast Wind Ensemble
• Pit orchestra for nine musicals, Florence Events Center

Richard Jones

PROFESSIONAL/EXPERIENCE: Played lead alto sax with Swing Shift, a Eugene-based big band from 1979 to 1998.

BIO - Richard is a retired librarian and music educator. Since moving to Florence, Richard has played in several musicals, in the community band, two ensembles, the Central Coast Chamber Orchestra, and been a "regular" sub with the Yachats Big Band.

Pete Lawson

EDUCATION - B.A. The Evergreen State College 1976, Ph.D. Idaho State University 1986.

PROFESSIONAL/EXPERIENCE - Salmon ecologist and marine biologist for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

Pete started trumpet in 1958 and played in concert bands and orchestras through high school and college. He then took 23 years off to persue a career first as an ornithologist, then in river ecology, and finally marine biology. Notable projects included flying radio-controlled gliders to locate peregrine falcon eyries in Mexico and several sampling expeditions on the MIddle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. Pete's current research interest is wild coho salmon on the Oregon Coast.

Shortly after moving to Oregon in 1987 Pete started playing trumpet again and joined the Yachats Big Band at its inception. He has also played in several local musical productions.

Photo of Sue McEneny - Vocalist during monthly concert/danceSue McEneny

PROFESSIONAL/EXPERIENCE - I don't have any real credentials in music, I have always loved to sing.

My first solo was in kindergarten, and growing up, I sang in the church choir, and in high school. I currently sing with the, notorious "Polka Dots", and have been thrilled and fortunate to sing with the Yachats big band. It is truly my favorite kind of music.

Darrell Staffenson

PROFESSIONAL - commercial fisherman.

Art Svoboda

PROFESSIONAL - Retired music instructor. Taught for 38 years on the elementary through College levels in Southern and Northern California and North Dakota. Presently enjoying painting and directing the Pacific Coast Wind Ensemble in addition to playing trumpet with Yachats Big Band.

Jean Weakland

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science Colorado State University - Physical Education Master of Arts University of Northern Colorado - Contemporary Dance Fulbright Scholarship to study dance in England Master of Fine Arts Indiana University - Ceramics & Textiles Studied & performed Modern Dance with the Tameris/Nagrin Professional Dance Company New York City

PROFESSIONAL - Work experience: Fort Collins Colorado High School teacher
• Teaching assistant University of Northern Colorado
• Modern Dance faculty Colorado State University
• Assistant Professor Dance University of Oregon
• Teaching Assistant Ceramics Indiana University
• University of British Columbia Associate Professor Ceramics in the Visual and Performing Arts Dept.
• Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Faculty Of Education

| Monthly Dance/Concert | Special Events | Back to homepage
Editorial content and photos contributed by various members of the band.

1999 - 2011 Myers Design Labs, of Newport, All Rights Reserved.