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Guilbeaux celebrates 25 years; music is a family affair

Posted: 10:11 PM, Oct 07, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-08 10:35:41-04

A Lafayette musician is celebrating 25 years as conductor for the award-winning Lafayette Concert Band.

It’s not a surprise that Gerald Guilbeaux has made it that milestone, because music has flowed through his family for generations.

“Its always great to have family around. And it was extra special today with the two youngsters, the two grandkids singing with us in the choir. It was an extra special day,” Guilbeaux says.

A family that plays together, stays together: that’s the family motto.

On Sunday, Guilbeaux celebrated his silver anniversary as conductor for the band with a “director’s choice” concert at the Bayou Church. His daughter, Amy Guilbeaux O’Quain and sister-in-law, Julie Bush, played the clarinet in the band, and his grandchildren, Addison Thompson and Mark Thompson, sang in Sunday’s concert as members of the Chorale des Amis Children’s Choir.

“All these things bring back these fond memories and looking at the kids singing just flashes me back to when these kids were really small,” he says.

Guibleaux is a conductor and his late wife Beth played the flute. Together, they raised an ensemble of musicians.

“It was just an automatic thing that we were going to be musicians. We started it in middle school and carried it through high school,” says his daughter, Amy Guilbeaux O’Quain.

“The major band nerds come out on Christmas. The Guilbeaux family band comes out on Christmas,” put in Chrissy Guilbeaux Thompson, sister to Amy and mom to Addison and Mark.

“Its really not something we want to advertise much the instrumentation is a little bit skewed,” Guilbeaux adds.

Guilbeaux’s wife Beth died two years ago, but her memory lives on through the notes they hit and the keys they play.

“Beth and I were always involved in music. We met in the band room at UL. You know its always been a very major part of our lives and we always knew, it was assumed that the kids would all play in band,” Guilbeaux says.

“We always think of her every time we play,” says Julie Bush, Gerald’s sister-in-law, Beth’s sister. “In the beginning it was a little bit difficult not having her there but now we just feel like she’s always with us especially when we play.”

From left: Julie Bush, Amy Guilbeaux O’Quain, Addison Thompson, Gerald Guilbeaux, Chrissy Thompson and Mark Thompson.