These 2 Tri-Cities teachers fell into a band. Now they’ve got an album

It all started with an anniversary gift.

Chris Newbury bought his wife, Wendy, a session at Rainmaker Studios. The couple along with some musician friends recorded Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.”

That session led to another, then another. Suddenly, a band emerged — Black Dolly.

Three years later, the couple and their friends released their 11-song album July 15 titled after the Fleetwood single that started it all.

“We were all kind of revitalized after it,” Chris Newbury said. “It just kind of kept progressing and progressing.”

Chris Newbury plays drums, Wendy Newbury sings and Eddie Ramirez, Frazer Wambeke, Luke Basile and Ryan Matzinger frequent as collaborators.

The Newburys’ musical talents aren’t unknown.

Chris Newbury started teaching music at Hanford High School eight years ago. He oversees the jazz and orchestra programs.

Wendy Newbury teaches choir at Pasco High School, where she’s been for four years. She also is its choral music director.


Students never quite know how teachers spend summer vacation, but Wendy Newbury said their work really picks up at the start of break.

For them, it all works together — the band and the classroom, she said.

“As teachers, too, it’s really important that students know there’s something else beyond the classroom,” Wendy Newbury said. “You can do things beyond what you do in school.”

The musicians find a way to balance their time as teachers, parents and musicians.

“Once you have creative outlet sometimes it’s hard to turn the nozzle off,” Chris Newbury said.

Above it all, the couple want to leave a songbook behind for their two small children, Nile and Cairo.

They both agree that music is a vehicle used to teach about life for both their students and children.

“I want our kids to grow up having these songs,” Chris Newbury said.

Wendy Newbury said she wants their kids to be able to look at the work and say, “Mom and dad made that.”

“The legacy part of this is really big for us,” Chris Newbury said.

The band plans to keep playing gigs. It’s a regular at Bookwalter Winery in Richland.

With more gigs expect new music will come with it, the couple said.

“Anything that your passion about, you want to do more of,” Wendy Newbury said.

Rachel Fradette: 509-582-1413