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PLSouthside Scroll

The Student News Site of Papillion-La Vista South High School

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PLSouthside Scroll

PLSouthside Scroll

Take 5 with Chad Stoner

Chad Stoner has been working security for in-school-suspension at Papio South for only two years but also happens to be a professional saxophone player.  A recognizable face within the Omaha jazz scene, Mr. Stoner plays professionally as the frontman and star saxophonist of the Chad Stoner Band. He also performs solo and in another band, Juke Butter, as a professional saxophonist.
Samples from May 25 2019 performance at the Holland Performing Arts Center, Omaha, NE. Opening act for Boney James. Chad Stoner on saxophone.
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Chad Stoner playing saxophone at the Gene Leahy Mall Pavilion (Image Courtesy of Chad Stoner)

#1. What inspired you to play saxophone professionally?

When I was younger, I played piano for a while. We lived in Iowa, we moved to Omaha, and I still wanted to do something musical. And in junior high– sixth grade was a part of junior high [back] then– they had a day that was set aside [where] the local music company came and set up instruments for display. And then we all came in and picked the instrument [we wanted]. So as far as inspiration, I wanted to do something musical. And as far as saxophone, it’s a pretty shallow answer: I thought it looked cool. And really, no one was choosing it. So I chose it. But so that’s how. I wanted to do something musical so… saxophones!

Lydia Farmer

#2. What are your duties as a Papio South employee?

In in-school-suspension, I oversee the students who are in here as a result, or for some form of consequence. But my real role is to be someone who kind of handles communication between teachers and students so they can send classwork and make it a productive workday, instead of some sort of prison sentence or, you know, that kind of thing. It’s, you know, the things I do.

#3. How has your current job, and any previous job, affected your ability to schedule with your bandmates?

I’ve always had flexibility; I was a pastor for 20 years. So within that, I always got to continue to play music. And that was something that was fairly flexible. And it was kind of expected or understood that I play music. Here, it’s very easy to do that, because I’m off in the early afternoon. And most things I do don’t happen until after that. And so it’s been very easy for a very long time to kind of have those work together.

#4. What advice would you give your past self as an aspiring performer?

I would say to try to remain patient and consistent in developing your abilities, and getting more clarity about the vision for what you’re going to do with your musical abilities, because it’s very much a long-term journey and it can be very slow and steady. So I would say to be more focused on small pieces that are disciplined and be patient with the process.

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#5. What do you do in your free time that isn’t work-related?

I would say I love spending time with my wife and family. I like to do that all the time. Listening to music constantly– It’s what I do, It’s a leisure activity, It’s a hobby outside of things, and listening to as much music as possible. All of it finds its way into your playing, regardless of what style it is, especially jazz. I mean, you can be listening to rock, classical, country, [or] r&b, in one way or another. It all finds its way in and it affects not just how you sound and the ideas you have but, in some ways, how to move forward in your musical journey.

For information on upcoming performance dates, visit https://www.chadstoner.com/

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About the Contributors
Riley Tuzzio
Riley Tuzzio, Staff Reporter
I'm Riley Tuzzio. I'm a Senior and almost completely blind with 20/1600 vision. I am passionate about advocating for those with disabilities and impairments and just improving awareness and understanding of them. I still can enjoy some forms of media though mostly auditory focused and like to promote accessibility throughout the world.
Lydia Farmer
Lydia Farmer, Staff Reporter
My name is Lydia Farmer. I am in 11th grade and look forward to sharing what I believe is important to our school.
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