7/24/2017 8:47:00 AM Mother-son duo enjoys creating beautiful music Hoeslys have participated in Monroe City Band for many years
Trish and Jake Hoesly are members of the Monroe City Band in Brodhead, Wis. The mother and son have been playing musical instruments for much of their lives, while also milking 70 cows. PHOTO BY DANIELLE NAUMAN
By Danielle Nauman
BRODHEAD, Wis. - Berthold Auerbach once said, "Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." That reflects the joy Trish Hoesly and her son, Jake, get from taking part in the Monroe City Band. Trish is an avid flute player, while Jake enjoys playing the French horn. Both began their music careers in fifth grade. "It's enjoyable to get together with other musicians and to get off the farm for an evening," said Trish of her involvement. Trish and her husband, Todd, operate Hoesly Holsteins, where they milk about 70 head in a tiestall barn, along with son, Jake, and daughter, Paige.
Long-time band members Trish has participated in the city band for 14 years, while Jake began participating when he was in seventh grade, playing off and on for 11 seasons, depending on his school schedule. Jake also plays in the smaller, newly-formed Brodhead Community Band. "I wanted to be like my older sister," Trish said of why she chose to play the flute. "I'm pretty good at it, and it's been fun to stick with it." Trish began college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, debating between an art major and a performance music major. Art won out, and has led her to a successful career as a graphic designer, focusing mainly on agricultural clients, including PDPW and Milksource. She also donates her design talents to the band, designing fliers and programs for their concerts. "I don't regret choosing art, but I do often wonder what might have happened if I'd pursued performance music," she said, noting that she did play in college for two years. Eventually, the time requirements for her art major took away from the time she had to play in the band. "It keeps your skills up, and everyone is really pretty good," said Trish of her participation in the band. "It's rewarding to hear how good we sound. Sometimes, I wish I could be in the audience to fully appreciate it." Prior to joining the band, Trish kept up her musical skills by playing special music in her church, as well as playing for weddings and other events.
Second-generation musician Jake enjoys participating in the bands for similar reasons as his mother, enjoying the night off from the farm each week. Jake attended the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and graduated with a major in soil and crop sciences and a double minor in animal science and agribusiness. He began participating in the band, but found it conflicted with the activities of the Pioneer Dairy Club. "I enjoy continuing to play, and I figure since I own the horn, I should play it," said Jake, who works as a field crew supervisor for Applied Ecological Services at their Taylor Creek Restoration Nursery in Brodhead, Wis.
A long history for the Monroe City Band The Monroe City Band is entering its 68th year and has a membership of 50-60 musicians, mostly hailing from Green County. "There aren't many farmers," Trish said. "There are a lot of music teachers and former band directors involved." The band season starts in mid-October, with practices on Monday evenings for a December Christmas concert, held at a church in Monroe. They are then off until mid-April, when practices resume for their summer concert series, which features five concerts performed at the Monroe City Bandshell in Twining Park. They also perform every Fourth of July and hold a concert at the Monroe Cheese Days Festival, which happens every other year in September. "Monroe has a neat old bandshell, and it is so well maintained and such an historic piece of architecture," said Trish. She also explained that the structure embraces the deep Swiss heritage of the area, with the crests of each of the Swiss cantons painted on the bandshell. While Trish herself does not descend from Swiss ancestry, her husband is full-blooded Swiss, with his grandparents emigrating to this county. The summer concert series are usually themed towards one specific genre of music, and the group focuses on educating the listeners as opposed to simply entertaining. Trish enjoys the classical genre the most, while Jake enjoys some of the more popular music, such as soundtracks from movies. Both list modern classical composer Frank Ticheli as one of their favorites.