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Wisconsin trumpeter fights pandemic blues with music

Posted at 12:45 PM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 15:23:51-04

BROOKFIELD, Wisc. — One of the best parts of the pandemic has been how it’s brought out the best in some people.

A man in Brookfield is trying to share his love of music.

Every Sunday evening, right around 6 p.m., you’ll hear the sounds of a trumpet in Gary Kilvinger’s neighborhood. His performances have been going for almost a year and a half. But, Gary learned to play long before that.

“In the fifth grade,” he says. “I inherited my grandfather’s trumpet, and it had, sort of, ‘relic’ written all over it.”

Gary kept playing all through school while in college and every opportunity he got after that.

“I think the whole idea about bands is fun,” he says. “Music is the greatest teacher of project management you could ever get. It teaches you how to be a project leader, called a director. Pieces and parts have to come in exactly on time. Delivery is important.”

So when the pandemic shut most of the world down, it only seemed natural to Gary to keep playing.

“I think it’s good from the neighborhood perspective, in the sense that it’s something you can give back to the neighborhood,” Gary says. “It gives people something to talk about, right? That isn’t just the weather.”

Like Gary made friends playing in bands, performing in the neighborhood helped Gary and his family meet new neighbors.

“Just on Sunday night, we met a new person who lives in a subdivision down to our west a little bit.”

She walked over to hear Gary play.

“When she said that she had lost her husband in July or June, I guess, and then all of a sudden it took a meaning to her, it was cool,” Gary says.

Gary mostly plays patriotic songs. He says despite the lows of the pandemic, things will get better.

“It’s a good place to live, and we’ve got a great land and so, just play about it, you know?”

Katlin Connin with TMJ4 first reported this story.