March is the time for Lions to roar – the Cambridge Lions Club, that is. Hear those Lions roar when the 43rd annual Variety Show “That ’70s Show” takes place on March 17 – 19 at the Scottish Rite Auditorium.
In the center of all preparation and presentation of the musical portion of the show stands one man – Paul Hudson. He directs the chorus and band, arranges the music, and conducts practices in a very patient manner, as he clicks his fingers and taps his leg in time to the beat.
Add in the factor that the Lions Club thrives on having fun, and you can see that even though now retired, Paul’s twenty-seven years experience of teaching band comes in very handy to keep practices moving along smoothly. Lucky that Paul also possesses a great sense of humor.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg when you talk about Paul Hudson. Being a band instructor at John Glenn High School, he can play every instrument – percussion being his favorite, while strings are his challenge. Surprisingly, he has never had any private lessons.
In high school, he thought it would be fun to try out for a musical production, but discovered it was only open to choir members, while he was in the band. Next year Paul became a choir member and when he auditioned for a role in “Sound of Music”, won the role of Captain von Trapp – his first singing performance. “I didn’t even know I could sing,” Paul said with a smile.
Paul can also be found as lead percussionist for the Southeast Ohio Symphony Orchestra, Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds, and Zanesville Memorial Concert Band. In his spare time, he substitutes at area schools.
In order to see more of her busy husband, Amy decided to take the reins of the Color Guard, which performed with the John Glenn Band that Paul was directing. Since band is nearly a year long activity, their vacations were spent at places like Cedar Point, Ontario Canada, and Disney World accompanied by ninety to two hundred band and choir members and several chaperons.
“It’s important that kids experience music to enjoy all their life.” As a teacher, he felt his job was to inspire others to play their favorite instrument.
As busy as he is, Paul takes great pride in his musical family. His wife Amy is blessed with a beautiful singing voice, that she shares with the Variety Show. Sarah plays in the symphony and community band in Colorado, while Matthew, with a background in ballet and music, entertains at Universal Studios in Florida.
Most of Paul’s arranging is assisted by a great tool, MIDI. Basically, it involves an electronic keyboard with numerous switches hooked to computer software. What Paul plays on the keyboard shows up on the computer screen in musical notation. Hour by hour, he creates all vocal harmony as well as instrumental accompaniment, and it can easily be changed to fit the group. MIDI also plays back the arrangement so he can hear exactly what it sounds like. Many revisions are made as Paul is a perfectionist.
With all this musical ability, it was surprising to learn that music was only part of his dream as a youngster. Paul wanted to join the Air Force and be a jet pilot, but that dream was shattered because 20/20 vision was required.
See Paul in action at the Lions Club Variety Show at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Cambridge on March 17-19. For the first time, he is going to not only direct but perform. Listen as he plays piano and sings, “The Piano Man”, Amy’s favorite song.
What would he like to do next? Paul still wants to be a pilot, but would also enjoy sky diving. Sounds like flying through the air in some manner is still in his dreams. He already flies above most in the world of music.