Simpson Faculty Rocks


by Ashley VanalstineStaff Writer

Underneath the sophisticated and knowledgeable exterior of some Simpson College faculty members lies a rocker.

Three Simpson faculty members jam out as musicians in the Sonny Humbucker Band.

The band members include David Wolf, assistant professor of English; Mark Juffernbruch, assistant professor of accounting; Mark Green, professor of management; Thom Wrightand, 1988 Simpson graduate and vocalist; and drummer/vocalist, David Kochel.

“Some guys ride Harleys,” Green said. “Some guys like fantasy football. We like guitars.”

According to Wolf, the group just landed its biggest gig as the pre-show party performers at The Who concert, which will be held on Sept. 26 at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines. The Who concert will be held at Wells Fargo Arena, which is next to where The Sonny Humbucker Band will be performing. Wolf said that though the band was happy doing local gigs, this was a great opportunity for the band members.

“It’s exciting to be involved in this event,” Wolf said. “In the mid-to-late ’60s, there were three premier British rock groups: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who.”

The Sonny Humbuckers landed this opportunity after a performance in Des Moines.

“In August, we played a show for the Merle Hay Neighborhood Aassociation’s National Night Out,” Green said. “It was a community pride event. Someone who was at the show heard us and suggested us to Jessica Lorenz, [premium seating coordinator at the Iowa Events Center].”

The Sonny Humbucker Band plays a variety of music, including “British Invasion,” alternative, country, blues, classical and modern rock. The band can perform 40-50 cover band songs, including music by The Who.

“We choose our entertainment for the pre-show party based on the event and what the audience for that particular show would enjoy,” Lorenz said. “For The Who concert on Sept. 26, we wanted a band that could play the genre of music of The Who, and maybe even cover a few of The Who’s songs. A friend said they were great and highly recommended the band for this pre-show party at the Iowa Events Center.”

The pre-show party at Hy-Vee Hall includes a reserved ticket to the Who concert at the Wells Fargo Arena; buffet and open bar with wine, beer and soda; entertainment by The Sonny Humbucker Band and a commemorative gift. The party package costs $132.95. If anyone is still interested in this package, they can contact the Iowa Events Center for more information.

The Sonny Humbucker Band was formed after lead singer Wright returned to the area. Green began talking with the musicians and the group formed. The group practices together on Saturdays and performed their first show in the fall of 2002.

“I think being in this band has clarified my need to keep playing music,” Wolf said. “It’s part of my soul. I think I’ll always want to play in some sort of band.”