Traveling Trombone Returns to AHS

It took a 63-year journey, but Robert Watter’s treasured trombone has returned to “Old AU” to be played by a new generation of Colonists. When Bob, a former Anaheim High band member from Class of 1949, heard the 160-member Colonist band was looking for instruments, he decided to take his trombone out of retirement.

Bob, who is married to Janet Vincent from Class of 1951, first played the instrument when he joined the Anaheim High Band in 1948. His talent for playing the trombone caught the ear of band director William Cook and Bob was recruited to play in the popular nine-member swing band that performed for the school’s Military Ball, dances and other  functions.  (Bob is pictured fourth from left in this photo of the Swing Band from the 1949 yearbook.) Bob was also a member of the Varsity A Club, swimming and water polo teams.

After graduating from Anaheim, Bob’s trombone traveled with him to his next three gigs, which included the Fullerton Junior College Band (1950), the Santa Ana College Band (1951), then the U.S. Air Force Band (1952). Once he left the military, Bob retired the trombone and it was safely stored in his attic for the next 40 years.

The beloved instrument made an encore appearance at the June Anaheim Alumni Breakfast, when Bob presented his trombone to Anaheim’s new band director Breysi Garcia, a Class of 2000 AHS grad. Breysi brought along five of his top trombone players to entertain the breakfast crowd, many of whom were former band members.

Breysi also informed his fellow alumni that the band, known today as the Colonial Regiment, is working to raise funds for a trailer to transport instruments to its many performances. Alumni who care to donate to this effort are encouraged to contact Breysi at  garcia_br@auhsd.k12.ca.us  or emailing anaheimalumni@yahoo.com.

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