Moonlighters Big Band | Lititz PA Swing Band


Al Rothacker


Al originally hails from Minersville, in Schuylkill County, PA: the second of of three sons. His dad had a huge impact on the boys and their music, having always played in dance bands, community bands, brass ensembles, and the like. So when Al was of age, or close, he was taught to make a ‘bumble bee’. That’s when a brass player buzzes into a mouthpiece with his lips, which in turn produces musical tones (or close). Soon after, on faith, he was taken to the high school band room to find a marching band uniform that fit (or close). And so, in the 5th grade, Al became a member of the Minersville High School Marching Band.

Upon high school graduation, Al joined the Marine Corps. After ten years each of active and reserve service, he retired from the USMC at the rate of E-7, or Gunnery Sergeant. During those 20 years, he had the good fortune to meet and marry his Marine buddy’s sister, Kate. He and Kate have been married 36 years (or close). They have been blessed with two sons and two daughters, and a grandson.

During their USMC years in Southern California, he and Kate were charter members of Saddleback Church. Naturally, he also was a charter member in the church’s praise band, as well as its Saddleback Brass ensemble. Al concluded his college work by spending the last six semesters with the Saddleback College Big Band, which did wonders for his suffering GPA. Other associations included the Max Bishop Big Band.

Al started with the Moonlighters in 1996 or so, soon after moving the family back to Pennsylvania. He now lives in Lititz, where he is also a member of the Lititz Community Band. From a player’s point of view, it really warms the cockles of his heart to see the people ‘of the era’ dancing and enjoying the music the Moonlighters make.