PLAINWELL, Mich. — Karen Dunnam has played her sousaphone at a tax rally in Chicago, a Unite the Right rally in Washington D.C., and other rallies in Lansing and Detroit.
Two weeks ago, she played her 22-pound instrument during a protest when Vice President Mike Pence spoke in Holland.
On Wednesday, she will play it again. This time it'll be during a protest outside of Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek where President Donald Trump will be speaking.
“Music makes everything better and if you have someone playing ‘bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump’,” she said, “Then the crowd chants along with that, and they relate to it.”
Dunnam said she is one of the main organizers of Wednesday's protest. She’s putting together a band and has published the charts online. So far, three trombonists, a baritone horn player, and a tuba player have all signed up to play.
“It’s fun to get out there and wave to the adoring crowd and help make the event go a little better and make it a little more memorable for everyone,” she said.
Dunnam said hundreds of people will be at the protest and march, which begins at 5 p.m. at Sojourner Truth Park. She has already received questions about keeping warm, considering the temperatures that day will be in the 20s.
“I have hand warmers that I put on my valves to keep them from freezing,” Dunnam said. “I have a plastic mouth piece. It’s not hard at all once you get rolling.”
She said they plan to do the chicken dance and other things to keep protesters warm. However, no matter how much fun they will be having, everyone is there on a mission.
“They’re not just brass band musicians. They’re not just cyclists. They’re not just contra-dancers," Dunnam said about the new friends she has made in the last few years. "They’re people who care about an issue and want to help make the world a better place.”