Meet Ernie Belanger
If you had asked a 10-year old Ernie Belanger if he would make a career by playing the tuba, he would have said that you were nuts! Fast forward about 60 years into the future, and that’s exactly what Ernie did.
Ernie graduated in 1964 from Saratoga Springs High School. He played in the Saratoga Springs High School Concert Band and Marching Band. His tuba teacher and Band Director was Roger Hartman. In 1956, Ernie also started studying the upright bass with Robert Meade. To further round out his expanding musical world, Ernie also sang for Henry Trombly in the school’s chorus.
During his last year of high school he played in John Kuznia’s Dance Bands. Because the piano player was a Navy Recruiter, Ernie ended up serving in the Navy as a Meteorologist. He also played tuba and baritone in the Navy until completing meteorology school. After discharge from the Navy in 1968, he played bass guitar in the Dick Tosti Trio for five years. In 1973 he joined the Skip Parsons Riverboat Jazz Bands. He played with Skip for 36 years!
Not content to retire, Ernie has played with several local bands over the past few years. A steady gig at the Mouzon House with The Mark Tolstrup Brass & Blues Trio has been a Friday night tradition. Of special note, Ernie will be playing at the recently renovated Caffe Lena’s on June 30th. Ernie also serves as the Tuesday Bugler at Saratoga National Cemetery. He has shared his music with over 875 families as they lay their veteran loved ones to rest.
When Ernie found out about the Alumni Concert, he jumped at the chance to perform. He appreciates all of the amazing benefits and opportunities that a rich musical experience presents for young people.
Join us on Saturday, June 17th, at 7:30 PM at Saratoga Springs High School’s Loewenberg Auditorium for our student assistance fund benefit concert. There will be over 20 alumni acts performing that evening. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Adults are $10 and seniors/students are $5. A family pack is available for $25 – so bring the whole clan.
All proceeds will go to the Friends of Music Saratoga Springs Student Assistance Fund.
Friends of Music is a 501(c)3 organization.