Brutus the Band takes the stage

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Photo provided by: Provided by Brian Kupfer

Brutus performs at Fiddlers Green Irish Pub & Eatery in Winter Park. World History teacher Brain Kupfer plays guitar for the band.

On a Friday night in November, Fiddlers Green: Irish Pub looks quiet and isolated from the outside, but is bursting with rock and roll tunes in the inside. Brutus the Band, a group collaboratively formed by World History teacher Brian Kupfer and his bandmates, play the night away with the help of electric guitars, drums and a keyboard while accompanied by their mascot, a giant stuffed pup sitting front and center, named after Kupfer’s real pup, Brutus. 

For the past two years, Brutus the Band has been playing at various venues around Central Florida. Although the group was not officially formed until 2017, longtime friendships and a passion for music, starting at age three,  have played a significant role in Kupfers life.

“I’ve never not loved music,” Kupfer said. “I like to get out and play music with my friends. I’ve always done that. The people I’m working with in my current group, I’ve known the guy who plays bass since I was 10. We just are old friends who get together to have fun and it’s just a hobby. A way to enjoy ourselves.”

It’s just a different side to see of somebody. It should remind everybody that we aren’t just one dimensional, teachers are people that have hobbies and do things besides come to school.”

— Brian Kupfer

While Kupfer performs rock and roll style music and is joined on stage with a full band, mathematics teacher Christopher Stanley performs more folk-like covers as well as his own original songs as a solo artist. Discovering his adoration for music at a young age, playing the guitar and composing authentic melodies have created a common thread in Stanley’s life.

“I only play out once a month so it’s not too much but it’s the preparation in between,” Stanley said. “I try to do a song a week. Sometimes songs will go fast, sometimes songs will take six months. You try to learn as many songs as you can. I come here and teach and then if I’m not teaching, I’m usually in my room trying to learn new stuff.”

Although Stanley has been playing music since his high school days, performing on stage is a recently added addition to his hobby. 

“I’m a lot more comfortable singing now, now that I’ve been out there doing it,” Stanley said. “And you kind of get better at it too. The more you do it the more comfortable you are when you’re out there. I’m not like Kupfer whose been doing it forever. I’m still kind of working my way up.”

Taking on the roles of being a full time teacher and a nighttime musician, the educators set an example of not letting one’s career define a person, giving students a new outlook on the lives of teachers outside of school.

“They’re pretty curious about what I do because it’s unusual I guess.” Kupfer said. “It’s just a different side to see of somebody. It should remind everybody that we aren’t just one dimensional, teachers are people that have hobbies and do things besides come to school.”

Check out a video of Brutus the Band playing at Fiddler’s Green Irish Pub & Eatery here.