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The roots of our 'lil band stretch way back to 1973, when a group of Dieruff High School musicians formed the Allentown Philharmonic Hobo Precision Marching Band as a fundraising stunt in order to purchase new drum equipment and supplies for the school's marching band. They were reasonably successful, but more importantly they had a lot of FUN. In 1974, after the school (reluctant to start with) pulled it's support our intrepid founders, the Philharmonics struck out on their own. They marched in local parades, playing music.., er, "liberated" from the high school's music vault. The band was directed by Larry Schmoyer, and included founding members Jay Morgenstern, Dan Trump, and John Gignet. Word spread, and in 1975 they gained some new members from Allen High School's band, most notably Dan's cousin and our Grand Poobah Al Trump and Master-at-drums Rich Lobach. The Philharmonics played the local scene for several years and was always a popular comedy group in the local parades.
Disagreements over whether to allow female players to join led to the breakup of that grand 'ol band, and a small group led by Al Trump formed in it's wake, repeating the Hobo theme. In the winter of 1980-81 they settled on the addition of "Almost" to the name, as marching in formation or in-step seemed to be somewhat too organized for their image. The Allentown Hobo "Almost" Marching Band was born. The band grew gradually in the '80's and 90's, as we played a wide variety of gigs, everything from the Emmaus Bedraces to church socials. Over the years our combination of comic antics and earsplitting music has made us one of the region's most sought-after independent bands
Today we still march under the leadership of Al Trump and Rick Lobach, entertaining crowds throughout the Lehigh Valley and beyond. The band has won honors in such parades as the Philadelphia Mummer's Parade, the Hamburg King Frost Parade, and the Allentown Halloween Parade, the oldest Halloween parade in the country. We have anywhere from 15 to 30 playing members, depending on the gig. We have some professional musicians who "slum" with us, but most of our loyal band members are regular working people who played in school bands and never lost their love of performing. Membership is open to anyone serious about playing and willing to commit to (wow) three or four practices a year. Band members ages range from 11 to.., er, let's just say they remember buying cars with fins. If you're the kind of person who is thinking "hey, maybe this could be for me!", drop us a line. Who knows, you could be the next Hobo!