At the age of five, Steve Sutherlin played trumpet for his kindergarten graduating class. At that time, he had no way of knowing where his trumpet playing would take him. Instilled with a love of music by his father, Steve and his four siblings were required to play a musical instrument. Steve’s father, Chuck, played the trumpet and was known as “Bugle Boy” while in the army during WWII. When his father worked the nightshift at Allison Gas Turbine Engine Co., he used to call home and make the children play their horns for him over the phone. This way he could make sure they were practicing and give them help with their technique.
For Steve, this love of music continued all the way through high school where he was a member of the Southport High School marching band. Upon graduating, Steve took a job with Allison Engine Company. As an adult and now in the working world, there just weren’t that many opportunities to play his horn. He found that community band’s were just not his style. One Summer, he made a trip to Kings Island Amusement Park. There he saw the colorful, crazy bands that strolled the grounds playing music. When he went to sleep that night, he had a dream about starting his own clown band.
The next morning when Steve awoke, he told his parents of his dream and plans. As you can imagine, they were a little curious as to how he would achieve this. Having four siblings that play musical instruments was a help! Along with the siblings and friends that had the same love of music, a group of 9 was formed. That was the start of the Circle City Sidewalk Stompers Clown Band.
In 1984, Steve met and married his wife Melanie. Together they had two children, Bryan and Kati. Since the age of 13, Bryan has played with the band and is actively involved in the future of the group.
With Steve’s guidance, the band has been going strong since 1976. He is the only remaining original player and leader of the group. Steve has taken the band to Shanghai, China, Nice, France and various state fairs across The United States. The many local jobs include the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, 500 Festival Parade and many, many more. Who would have thought this would all happen because of a dream!
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