What do you get when you team up five undergraduate students with Brother Gerald Muller, CSC? A band — Brother Muller and His Brothers.
Pasquale Mattozzi, a junior at St. Edward’s, teamed up with fellow students and St. Edward’s Rugby Football Club members Hugh Devore (senior), Spencer Robinson (senior), Phil Oates (junior) and Brady Faglie (senior) to form a band to play for incoming freshmen at Freshman Orientation. They needed a keyboard player, but didn’t have to look very far. Mattozzi asked Brother Muller if he was interested in playing with the group. Brother Muller didn’t hesitate.
“I may be 85 years old, but I’m open to new ideas and never realized rock ‘n’ roll was so simple,” Muller said. “They give me two chords and we rock — real loud!”
When Brother Muller and His Brothers play, you can’t miss Brother Muller. His keyboard lights up. “I love seeing the keys light up, but I don't need that,” he said. “My ear tells me what chord to play.”
Mattozzi first met Brother Muller when he had him as a professor for World Music. “Pasquale was always LATE TO CLASS and that endeared him to me,” Brother Muller said. “I would call his attention to the time class began, but he was invariably late.” That is how Brother Muller got to know Pasquale — “an outstanding, wonderful young man,” he said.
Although Brother Muller didn't know any of the other students, he wished they had taken his Cultural Foundations class (CULF 1319) which covers the history of music from 7,000 BC to present day. But, they were friends of Pasquale’s, so Brother Muller was game.
“It was a spur of the moment thing and everyone was on board,” Mattozzi said. The band rehearses in Pasquale's apartment.
During Freshman Orientation, you can hear Brother Muller and His Brothers perform for students on Thursday nights at 10 p.m. in front of Jacques Dujarié Hall, the residence hall located adjacent to the Robert and Pearle Ragsdale Center. Brother Muller and His Brothers play for about 30–40 minutes.
The band chooses songs based on what they like and think the incoming freshmen would enjoy. The group plays everything from Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx’s “Gold Digger” to Foster the People’s “Pumped up Kicks.”
But, Mattozzi’s favorite song to play is definitely the Hilltopper fight song which Brother Muller wrote. “We love seeing everyone show their Topper pride and having Brother Muller start us with his sound off!”
In addition, the band plays the St. Edward’s University Alma Mater which Brother Edwin Reggio, CSC wrote. “Those songs are our indoctrination of the new incoming freshmen,” Muller said.
Brother Muller was also instrumental in bringing a music minor to St. Edward’s. In addition to playing his keyboard for Orientation, Brother Muller belongs to the South Austin Rotary Club and serves as their musical director, providing music for weekly meetings.
Brother Muller has no plans for retirement. He is simply having too much joy working with young people.
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