Teacher Charlie Keyes plays in a band

Teacher Charlie Keyes has had a love of music since his childhood. He lives this talent out by playing in a band.

Photo Courtesy of Ali and the Scoundrels

Teacher Charlie Keyes has had a love of music since his childhood. He lives this talent out by playing in a band.

Brendan Gallaher, Staff Writer

The BSM community is full of diverse talent––whether athletic, academic, or musical. Although students get most of the recognition, teachers have talents and hobbies of their own, though they tend to be lesser known. Mr. Charlie Keyes is a third year theology teacher at BSM, teaching both freshman and sophomore students, but few people at BSM know about his lifelong passion for music and his current role in a band.

Music has played an important role in Keyes’s life since his childhood. “Music has always been a huge part of my life. My dad played guitar while I was growing up so I learned how to play pretty quickly. I started playing saxophone when I was in grade school and continued all throughout college,” Keyes said.

Keyes has been part of his band, Ali and the Scoundrels, since October 2014, after an invitation from fellow students at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. “It was through college that I met these guys that were in this band and after I graduated, one of them called me up and said we lost our saxophone player and we’re looking for somebody, so if you want to play with us, that’d be great,” Keyes said. 

The 9-piece band features two vocalists, a guitarist, a keyboard player, a bass player, a drummer, and three horn players, one of them being Keyes who plays the saxophone. Keyes considers the band’s size to be one of its unique elements. “I think just the size of our band alone is pretty unique. It’s funny…in a lot of venues we play at there’s this tiny stage that all nine of us have to fit on, and our keyboardist has a huge Fender Rhodes and it’s impossible for all of us to fit on stage, but it’s a lot of fun and we have to be pretty creative,” Keyes said.

Another defining aspect is the music they perform, which includes both original music and famous R&B hits. “We do a lot of original music, and when we do covers it’s like 90s and early 2000s R&B soul stuff,” Keyes said.

Their travel and performance schedule is fairly casual, but the band still makes a point to get together each month. “We practice once every two weeks to once a week. We travel quite a bit, but it’s all pretty much in Minnesota and Wisconsin that we play. Because we all went to college at Winona we often play down there, we played in Red Wing recently during a music festival, we played in Duluth not too long ago, and we play in the Twin Cities quite a bit, usually once a month,” Keyes said.