Watch Thunder Soul
- 1 hr 23 min
This movie depicts the true story about the Kashmere High School Stage Band in the 60's and 70's and the band director, Conrad O. Johnson known to his students as Prof. Kashmere was an all black High School in Houston, Texas. These were tough years for black students. Most of them came from poor family's and one parent homes. To many of the young black students, Prof was the first dominant male figure they had ever known. Actual film footage from those early years shows the students playing in the band, and early interviews with Conrad. He was a talented musician who could have performed and entertained in his own right, but his vision was helping young students realize a dream of their own. He set incredibly high standards and goals for the young black students and inspired them to put everything they had into playing their instruments. Girls joined the band to play saxophones and trombones which was unheard of in those days. Conrad arranged and composed the music which was a soulful Funk. He encouraged the students to be themselves and develop showmanship. Actual film footage shows them performing in competitions where they are the only all black student band. Audiences became excited at this new sound, which was not at all like the big band era music played by the all white student bands. The movie moves ahead to 2008 when 30 former KSB members, now in their fifties, reunite for the first time in over 30 years to play a tribute concert for their beloved bandleader and mentor, now 92 years old. They rehearse in the very same band room where they had practiced as kids. The movie shows the fragile old band leader as he stands with tears of joy and appreciation, along with the current Kashmere student body, as they cheer him and the stage band from the 70's, in this historic event.