For a group of local doctors and lawyers, music is a wonderful diversion from their hectic, professional work lives.
Barry Rooth, Michael Gideon, Gus Galante, Jeremy Willett, Tom Levin and Michael Brody are blending their non-medical talents together in the band The unProfessionals.
"We didn't always have a full band. Tom (Levin), had a drum set in his basement and we used to get together every once in a blue moon and play. Different people would come and go," said vocalist Michael Gideon, during a recent interview at the Halls of St. George. The group was preparing for a recent show at the Schererville venue.
The band members said they started playing simply for fun. The unProfessionals has been together formally for about a year and have only had a few gigs during the past year. The band's Halls of St. George donated performance was for The Taste of the Region charity event.
Jeremy Willett, a medical attorney, said he got involved in the group about a year ago when Gus Galante was looking for someone else to help fill out the band. Willett plays bass, plays a little guitar and keyboards and does a bit of singing.
"I thought I'd give it a try," Willett said.
Galante, who is a plastic surgeon, said after just jamming in Levin's basement, the group members felt they wanted to do a little more with their musical project.
"The group got better and the chemistry was there," Galante said. Galante, who said he used to play the piano, violin and trumpet during his school days, is a guitarist for the group.
The band's first gig was for a yard party last year for family and friends. "We had a nice time, "Galante said, adding that encouraged them to continue.
About the Taste of the Region gig, Galante said "This is big for us and it's an important event." The Taste of the Region is an annual benefit for The Service League of NWI.
The band members said the group's name came about during a casual brainstorming session.
"We're all professionals in our daily work but we're not professionals in music," said Gideon, an endodontist.
According to Barry Rooth, a health care lawyer, participating in the musical pursuit is a great experience.
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"I thought this could be a lot of fun...We have a good time," he said, adding the practice sessions and performances take them away from the seriousness of their professional careers.
Rooth said the band members are always willing to learn more about music and various instruments. The unProfessionals play a mix of classic rock, '80s, contemporary and country selections.
"We're always trying to play different instruments and push ourselves. We're always trying to push ourselves to improve," Rooth stressed.
Michael Brody, who's an anesthesiologist, said he's always been involved in music. "I played the oboe in high school and college," he said. Brody plays the keyboards for The unProfessionals. He also plays the guitar.
"We're very excited about playing this event," Brody said, adding he's attended The Taste of the Region before. His wife is involved in the organization.
Tom Levin, a cardiologist, provides the heartbeat of the band as the drummer of The unProfessionals.
"We're excited to do what we do," Levin said. Levin and the other band members said it's important for them to get involved in the community and to donate of their time whenever possible.
"This is such a diversion from our daily jobs," Levin said. "We all have very intense jobs."
Levin started playing drums while in high school.
"Then I took about a 25-year hiatus," he said, with a laugh, adding he didn't pick up the drums again until he moved to Northwest Indiana nearly two decades ago.
Levin mentioned they have a few upcoming benefit concerts including one on April 9 at 115 Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park, Illinois.
To learn more about The unProfessional, visit playfunmusic.com or visit The unProfessionals on facebook.