The Band

Cherie Baal – Vocals & Percussion

As the managing director and leader of the band, Cherie sings her heart out with professionalism and creative style. All-County Choir in High School, lead singer for “Wild Oats,” (a Southern Rock Band in Westchester County, NY), and a singing waitress during the late 90’s, Cherie brings her experience and love for music to Alpine Squeeze. Cherie adds her talent in several tracks of “Tropical Squeeze,” Alpine Squeeze’s debut album released in July, 2006. In addition to vocals, Cherie blends percussion with the rhythm and adds excitement to the performances by getting audiences involved, resulting in pure fun!

TOOLS OF THE TRADE: Well of course as the only female vocalist in the band, the instrument I bring to each performance is my voice! I rehearse as much as I can, and Eric does a great job in helping with those tricky German lyrics. After trying many different vocal mics over the years, my microphone of choice is the Shure Beta 87A. Not only is it lightweight and durable, it gives me crystal clear sound and I’ve never had a problem with feedback. Hearing yourself during a performance is critical so I choose the Mackie SRM150 Personal Monitor. The onboard 3-band EQ facilitates feedback suppression and is small and compact. No matter who is at the sound board, I can always fine tune my monitor with just a touch of my fingertips. As far as rhythm percussion instruments, depending on the song, I use a half-moon tambourine, wood block, pair of rhythm sticks, maracas and a pair of Tycoon Percussion Supremo STB-B Bongos that were made in Thailand. Oh, and lets not forget the shaker eggs… 🙂


Walter Barrett Squared
Walter Barrett – Trombone, Trumpet & Vocals


Walter has performed with the Westchester Symphony, Yonkers Philharmonic, Philharmonic Symphony of Westchester, and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. He has been featured as soloist with many local groups including the Lehman College Community Band, White Plains Pops Band, Manhattan School of Music, Yonkers Philharmonic, and the Westchester Band. He has performed with artists such as Robert Goulet & Frankie Valli. As a Yamaha Performing Artist/Clinician since the 1980’s, he is listed in “Who’s Who in American Music”.


TOOLS OF THE TRADE: I currently play on 6 different trombones, bass trumpet, 2 euphoniums, and tuba, and all of them with the exception of the bass trumpet and one of the euphoniums were made by Yamaha. The two horns that I use the most with Alpine Squeeze are the YSL 897Z trombone, and the YEP 641 euphonium. Both have the combination of being easy to play and great flexibility of tone, coupled with Yamaha’s outstanding craftsmanship. The 897Z trombone is fairly new, I only got it maybe 3 years ago, and I got my 641 euphonium way back when in the mid 1980’s. Sometimes I’ll bring my Bach bass trumpet to an Alpine Squeeze gig, that’s a lot of fun to play. Bass trumpet is pretty rare, it was conceived of by Richard Wagner for his huge operas, and is almost never used outside of a small handful of classical pieces. I like playing jazz and pop stuff on it, and it’s always fun to watch people looking at it trying to figure out just why it looks different to them. (Hint- It’s twice the size of a normal trumpet!) The mouthpieces that I use are either custom made by Schilke, or the fantastic modular mouthpieces from Doug Elliott.


Bob Carapezza Squared
Bob Carapezza – Drums

Bob plays many different styles of music including classic rock, oldies, country and ethnic. He has worked with such artists as Kenny Laguna (of Joan Jett), Tommy James, Darlene Love, Bill Medley and Tony Orlando. He has also worked with Dharma from Blue Oyster Cult; the Schwarzenegger Connection (Governor Arnold’s relatives); and international recording and television star Manny Daum. Locally, Bob’s presence has graced the Harry Chapin Stage at Eisenhower Park, My Father’s Place of Roslyn (with Full Circle); and other venues in the Greater New York tristate area.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE: Bob owns several vintage drum sets including a 5 piece 1940’s Slingerland Radio King in white marine pearl with a 28 inch bass drum similar to the set Gene Krupa played, He also owns a 4 piece Ludwig set in Blue Oyster pearl similar to the set made famous by Ringo Starr with the Beatles however, Ringo’s set was Black Oyster pearl. With Alpine Squeeze, Bob plays a 5 piece Rogers Londoner in red glass glitter with Swivomatic hardware manufactured in Dayton Ohio . This set is pictured in the 1967-68 Rogers catalog. During this era, Rogers was considered THE Cadillac of drums due to the many innovations in hardware design they made as well as their solid build and sound. The Rogers set is outfitted with a coated demo Ambassador head on the snare and, Evans G2 clear heads on the toms and an Evans Mx2 batter head on the bass. Bob uses vintage Avedis Zildjian cymbals, some of which he has been playing on for over 30 years !


Eric Baal – Accordion & Vocals

The music “gene” comes from Eric’s mother, who played the accordion as well as the piano when she was a child. His hobby began at six years old when he picked up an accordion for the first time. Eric has won several awards over the years including 2nd Place Polka Solo at the American Accordionist’s Association competition in Washington, DC. The accordion remains a passionate instrument which allows him to push the limits of creativity each time he plays.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE: Over the years, Eric has had several different accordions including a full size Bugari which was manufactured in 2010 in Castelfidardo, Italy. With its unique “music note” grill, it has 41 keys and 120 bass buttons, weighing in at 26 lbs. This is a beautiful MUSSETTE tuned accordion with 6 tone chambers, Sennheiser mics and MusicTech midi installed. He also uses the very lightweight Roland FR-3x mid-sized digital accordion. In pearl white with red accents, the FR-3x is the perfect fusion of traditional accordion performance and modern digital functionality. In addition to his two accordions, Eric also uses two sound modules which provide flexibility with Midi. The Ketron X4 is an integrated and fully relational; synthesizer module, real-time arranger, sampler, sequencer, and dual multi-function digital effects – all in a single compact unit. The Roland BK7-m is a state-of-the-art music player that packs incredible music playing power into an ultra-portable package.


Dana Sylvander – Trumpet, Trombone & Flugelhorn
A graduate of Juilliard and Columbia, Dana was an orchestra director in the Tenafly, NJ schools for more than 30 years and before that, a band director in Linden, NJ.  He has performed many types of music on a variety of brass instruments.  Classical music on trumpet with the Columbia University, Teachers College, Queens College, Adelphi Orchestras.  Trumpet, French Horn, euphonium with the Garden State Band.  Cornet & Eb alto horn with the Imperial Brass.  Trumpet & flugelhorn with the rock group “Dakota”. Trumpet, flugel & trombone with many various big bands.  Alpine horn with the International Alpine Society.  All these instruments have been used in the German/Polish genre.  Beside the Alpine Squeeze, Dana has played with the Dominos International, Adlers, Knickerbockers, Bernie’s Orchestra, Lou Krieger, Ray Barno, and Jimmy Sturr.


TOOLS OF THE TRADE:  The cornerstone instrument (used most often) is the Bach Bb trumpet but my favorite is my Bach C.  Other Bachs are a Bb cornet and model 36 trombone.  I use 2 Yamahas of opposite extremes – a piccolo trumpet & euphonium; 2 Conns – a Vintage Flugelhorn & a C cornet made in 1902; a Benge D/Eb trumpet; a rotary-valved trumpet; a rotary euphonium; and a “Stocker” alpine horn.    Mouthpieces include: Resonance #1 or #2 for trumpets, Bach modified 5B for cornet, Marcincowitz 5B for Flugelhorn, Bach 11C for trombone, Bach 6½AL or 3C for euphonium, and whatever works for alpine horn.  Oh yes … like Walter, I also play a Bach bass trumpet.  You haven’t lived until who’ve heard a bass trumpet duet accompanied by the accordion.


John van Decker – Trumpet & Bass Guitar

John has been playing professionally in a variety of musical groups since he was 15, as a multi-instrumentalist: trumpet, flugelhorn, valve trombone, electric bass, upright bass, percussion and vocals. John grew up in New Jersey, playing in corporate/wedding, rock, German and Polish bands. In NJ, he lived in the Asbury Park/Jersey Shore area and played for years at many of the leading venues, including The Stone Pony and Wonder Bar. John has a BA in Music where he studied classical and jazz music. He now lives on Marco Island, Florida where he plays in a variety of musical organizations, while making frequent trips to the Northeast where he still maintains a consistent musical presence.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE: John owns over 25 brass instruments, including trumpets, cornets and flugelhorns. He is also an accomplished bassist, owning 22 instruments, including bass guitars, electric upright basses, and an upright bass. John is collector or vintage classic instruments, where he is an active buyer and seller. John’s favorite trumpets, are a Monette custom STC-5 that he had built in 1994, a New York Bach Stradivarius Model from 1938, a 1958 Martin Committee, and a Calicchio 1s/10. He favors Adams and Taylor flugelhorns and Lawler cornets. John also plays a King Valve trombone for variety. For basses, John primarily plays a 100 year old Juric upright bass, a KK electric upright bass, a 1968 Fender Precision bass guitar, a 2012 Sadowsky Will Lee Jazz bass guitar, and two Fodera standard basses. He also has a Fender custom shop Jaco Pastorius fretless bass. When moonlighting on guitar, John plays a Gibson Custom Shop ES335 and Fender custom shop Stratocaster guitar.