Teacher plays in after-school band

Emily Kruse, photographer

Along with teaching freshman and sophomore gym classes and coaching girls’ cross country, table tennis, and track and field, Mr. Casey Hanson plays five different instruments and does vocals for The Square One Band, a collaboration of college buddies and outside friends who play several genres of music in the Minneapolis metropolitan area.

Three of the five band members, Drew Gilmore, Chris Moen, and Mr. Hanson, played together in a college band called the Dirty 5. The remaining two members, Paul Beckerman and Dave Chvjocicek, joined the team later on forming The Square One Band. “We have all become really good friends,” said Mr. Hanson. “Drew, Chris and I have known each other for many years. We all click very well.”

Depending on the setting and audience, the band usually plays variations of classic rock and alternative music. “We all have different musical roots. On a typical night we will play some classic rock, modern rock, alternative, country, reggae, blues, and even some rap,” said Mr. Hanson.

All members of The Square One Band contribute equally to the team’s positive energy and workload, although the ‘glimmer twins’ bring extra spunk to the group. “Drew and I are the ‘glimmer twins’ –– we get all the fame and glory while Dave, Paul, and Chris are the grunts. They do all the work behind the scenes and get no credit,” said Mr. Hanson.

Despite the hectic schedules of all five band members and occasional difficulties coordinating appearances or practices, the group plays as often as possible at weddings, bars, parties, class reunions, and festivals. “We play the majority of our gigs in the north/western metro area, but we have traveled to South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin,” said Mr. Hanson.

Although The Square One Band does not open for any famous acts or perform weekly at professional concerts, it does receive recognition from admiring fans and occasional media attention. “Last year we shared the stage with ‘Cowboys in Sneakers’ for an earthquake relief benefit concert that we got some local media attention for,” said Mr. Hanson.

The band members use free time to practice and prepare for upcoming performances or releases. “We are currently working on an album, so we practice quite often,” said Mr. Hanson. “We are hoping to release the album in July, so, until then, we practice on any open weekends.”

The Square One Band is supported by family and friends of all five members. “All of our families have been to shows and support us in our endeavors,” said Hanson.