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After Sermonizing, Minister Likes to Get His Licks In

January 02, 1986|JENNINGS PARROTT

--Joshua blew his horn and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down, but the Rev. Gary Miller just likes to make them shake a little. As pastor of the Congregational Church of Algonquin, Ill., Miller delivers three sermons every Sunday and carries out the other duties of a man of the cloth. But, on Sunday nights, when the preaching's over, Miller can be found playing hot trumpet in a Dixieland jazz band at a restaurant in Algonquin, about 15 miles northwest of Chicago. "I suppose it's different, to be both a minister and a professional musician," Miller said. "But my mother started me playing the trumpet when I was in kindergarten, and I've been playing ever since." Miller, 42, says playing with The Celebration Dixieland band is strictly a hobby, and he doesn't try to convert anyone when he's performing. He used to work a lot on the religious circuit, but playing the trumpet is mostly a hobby now. "My feeling is that everyone has to have a hobby," he said. "I don't golf, hunt or fish." And his religious duties to his congregation of 1,000 come first. If a church event conflicts with his weekly jazz stint, Miller arranges for a substitute trumpet player.

--New Year's Eve revelers hummed their way into the record books as 54,500 people played kazoos in downtown Rochester, N. Y. The kazoo concert smashed a record set in November by a 40,000-person chorus at a Vanderbilt University football game in Nashville, Tenn. "We are the kazoo capital of the world," exulted promoter Gregory Smith, an advertising executive. "The North has risen again!" Smith said the kazoo blowers were required to buzz at least three songs together to qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records. Conductor Isaiah Jackson directed the kazooers in "Daisy, Daisy," the theme from "The Bridge Over the River Kwai" and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

--Rep. Gene Chappie (R-Roseville) has announced that he will retire this year at the end of his third term because he doesn't want to be like some members who "leave Congress only when brought out on a stretcher. I want to get the hell out of here before they have to issue me a wheelchair." Chappie, 65, added that he is retiring "while I still have my teeth and can see well enough to drive my jeep."

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