The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Family goes to school, performs music together

By Jonathan Resendez/south news editor

Brook and Caleb, left and right, are two of 10 children in the musical Wallace family. Paul Wallace, center, spends his days as a tax accountant and busy father to his family. All three and two other members of the family find time to play together in South’s jazz ensemble.  Jennifer Covington/The Collegian
Brook and Caleb, left and right, are two of 10 children in the musical Wallace family. Paul Wallace, center, spends his days as a tax accountant and busy father to his family. All three and two other members of the family find time to play together in South’s jazz ensemble. Jennifer Covington/The Collegian

Seldom are five members of a family enrolled at the same school. Rarer still do they all play instruments in Texas swing and various other bands.

Enter The Wallace Family.

Paul Wallace, a tax accountant, moonlights as a trumpet player on South Campus in the jazz band as part of the continuing education program. Four of his 10 children also attend South Campus.

Caleb Wallace and his twin sister, Bethany, 16, are dually enrolled in TCC and a private home school in Burleson. Caleb plays bass guitar as well as the upright bass in the South Campus jazz band. Bethany sings.

“Music is a big influence in our family,” said Bethany, who is taking music reading this semester. “Every person in our family is involved in music.”

Paul said his older daughters, Brook and Sally, were the first to attend TCC.

Brook, 20, an award-winning fiddler, was featured on various country, western and swing albums other than The Wallace Family’s by the age of 18. She hopes to transfer to the University of North Texas and receive a degree in music performance.

Brook also takes classical violin lessons, which she said consumes most of her time.

“We spend more time creating music than really listening to it,” she said.

Although Sally is proficient with a mandolin, fiddle and steel guitar, she plans to enter TCC’s nursing program.

“Our dad is a tax accountant,” Brook said. “And I don’t know what happened, but we didn’t get any of his math brain.”

Paul, a CPA with a master’s from Texas A&M, said he started The Wallace Family strictly for fun. The Wallace Family has performed since 2002 and recently played at the Fort Worth Stock Show. He plays guitar.

The family also serves as the praise team at their church.

“The band is a fun thing we can all do together,” Paul said.

Although The Wallace Family plays primarily western and swing music, Brook, Paul and Caleb seem totally in their element while playing for the TCC jazz band. Their relaxed demeanor before rehearsal exudes the confidence of seasoned musicians.

Caleb feels the music more than he reads it as his walking bass lines provide a strong backbone for the jazz band’s brisk rendition of “Sweet Georgia Brown.”

Brook’s stylistic range is apparent in several of the intros she plays to the jazz band’s songs. Accompanied by piano, her rendition of “Besame Mucho” adds to the Spanish song’s ominous, yet seductive feel.

Rick Stitzel, music instructor and jazz band director, arranged “Cheesecake,” a song in which The Wallace Family shows it can contribute without standing out. Caleb provides a solid rhythm while Paul and Brook enhance the melody.

“I’ve never met a family who was quite as musically inclined as the Wallace family,” Stitzel said.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian