Strike up the Band!

Celebrating a South Bay holiday tradition since 1969 … the Hyperion Outfall Serenaders

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  • Written by
    Amber Klinck

Their name sounds as sweet as the Dixieland music they play. Of course you might get a chuckle from Bob White, the founding member of the band, if you were to ask him about the name’s origin.

Hyperion is the name of the largest sewage treatment plant in Los Angeles; the outfall is the point where the sewage is expelled into the ocean. Bob, originally from Kirkwood, Missouri, first heard the name in 1958, shortly after moving to Manhattan Beach. It would be 10 years later, however, that Bob, Dr. Sid Pattison and Dale Van Scoyk, the band’s three original members, would share the plant’s poetic name and begin their 40+-year run bringing Dixieland to the South Bay.

Today the Hyperion Outfall Serenaders include Jack Freeman on the trombone, Fran Freeman on percussion, Jimmy Green on the banjo, John Norton on the tuba, Louis Pastor on the drums, Dave Stanton on the clarinet (Dave is also the Palos Verdes Symphonic Band director—Bob calls him “a super musician”), and Bob on the cornet and vocals. But over the course of 45 years, there have been other members.

Serenaders …In Our Memory
Sid Pattison, Don Ryckman, Dave Freeman,
Pete Henderson, John Carpenter, Jules Radinsky,
John Malone, Jimmy Shivnan, Rod Norris

To get this story right, we go back to 1969—a time when, Bob says, “Manhattan Beach was called the Airline Jungle, filled with pilots and stewardesses.” This was when Manhattan Beach was referred to as “a party town.” In 1969 Bob met Dr. Sid and the two met Dale, making the Serenaders a three-man band with Bob on the cornet, Sid on the clarinet and Dale on the trombone. “We were a Dixieland band with no rhythm section,” Bob notes.

Their first paying gig was a St. Patrick’s Day parade heading down Hawthorne Boulevard, with a bar as their final destination. When asked if this was considered a pub-crawl, Bob’s response was, “Well, we only crawled to one pub.”

While playing for a Manhattan Beach school fundraiser, the Serenaders would meet their next member, elementary school principal Don Ryckman. Don played the banjo, and the band “got their rhythm section,” Bob says.

At the Manhattan Beach Community Church, the Serenaders met trombone player Jack Freeman, his wife, Fran—who at the time played the washboard, and his brother, Dave Freeman, who played the tuba. Music was clearly an important part of the Freeman family. In fact, Jack and Dave’s father, Jake Freeman, played in John Philip Sousa’s band, perhaps most famous for the march “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”

The Serenaders have played the Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair since its origin in 1972. They’ve played the beginning of the Manhattan Beach 10K since its origin in 1978. Every December the Serenaders perform for the eager crowds waiting for the Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks show, and every Veteran’s Day they can be found playing at the war memorial across from the Joslyn Community Center.

If you’ve enjoyed a cold beverage at Shellback Tavern, chances are you’ve seen the large mural of band members Rod Norris, Jack Freeman, Dave Freeman, Bob White, Louis Pastor, Fran Freeman and Jimmy Green painted on the back wall. Next time you’re in Ercole’s Bar, look for a picture of Bob rallying people for the Doo Dah Parade—a spoof of the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena. The other members of the band aren’t shown in the photograph—but only because they were waiting at Bob’s house with the party bus.

The Serenaders’ “alumni list,” as Bob calls it, also includes Don Lastra on the banjo and trumpet, Bill Lamden on the clarinet, Pete Henderson on the drums, John Carpenter on the banjo, Jules Radinsky on the trumpet, John Malone on the drums, Karl Keller on the clarinet, Jimmy Shivnan on the clarinet, and Rod Norris on the clarinet.

In March 2015 the Hyperion Outfall Serenaders will celebrate their 40th anniversary as the official band of Manhattan Beach, a title given to them in 1975 by Mayor Joan Dontanville, known as Saint Joan by the band. It’s a celebration well deserved, as it’s a title they’ve more than lived up to.

Adhering to their own tradition, the Serenaders will present a Town Tour on the Saturday or Sunday before Christmas, bringing the sounds of Dixieland to the streets for everyone to enjoy. Their last stops will be Shellback Tavern and Ercole’s Bar. If you happen to see them there, raise your glass and toast to the Serenaders bringing more than 40 years of joy to one very lucky beach community.