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Strutz old friend, Roger Ingalls opens the show with Inner Voices
BELLEVUE A long-time friend of Toby Strotz and graduate of then-Pilchuch High School, Roger Ingalls, has also offered his band at no cost for Arts Alive! and the new Arlington High School Performing Arts Center, because he loves to be on stage, among other things.
Ingalls now has three kids 7, 9 and 12 who like to sing and play music.
But theyre not ham material. They dont have the need to be up on stage like me, he said. If youve got the bug, you do it because you have to.
Ingalls has been playing music with Toby Strotz since their high school days and his been sound tech for Strutz for many years. Lately he has focused his efforts with a different high school buddy, Ron Runyon and his wife, Susan Runyon, in an acoustic trio called Inner Voices.
Growing up on a 20-acre farm near the railroad tracks in Lakewood in the days before the high school was built, Ingalls could have attended Arlington High School but chose to go to the then-new Pilchuck High School instead.
My recollection is that Arlington was very conservative, said Ingalls, who was a rocker from the start.
But mostly we chose Pilchuck because it had a swimming pool, he said. He was disappointed when he found out that he would have to wear a bathing cap over his long hair.
His brother and sister, Carl and Karen Ingalls, did attend AHS, with the class of 1970.
They were involved with the high school plays, Ingalls was excited to hear he would be performing in the old AHS?auditorium.
The last time I was in that theater, I was 10, Ingalls said. His brother Carl worked backstage with at least two high school productions at AHS, As You Like it and Lil Abner, Roger remembered.
Ingalls and Runyon started playing music together while sophomores at Pilchuck.
Wed pay people to come and see us whatever it took, he laughed.
They played together full time through the 1980s in a band called Mirage, touring up and down the West Coast and to Canada, Alaska and Japan living on what little money they made.
When it became apparent that we would never open for Duran Duran, then I started thinking about it, Ingalls said. When he saw old rock-n-rollers still doing the same thing at age 50, he didnt like the looks of it.
Thats when I decided to think about settling down to start a career and family.
Both Ingalls and Runyon had already done college, so they went to work after turning 30.
Ron was in the computer business and I was in the cable business, he said. I switched over to mortgages later on.
Now he works at Tila Mortgage in Renton in an office that just recently moved from Bellevue, where he lives.
With Inner Voices, he plays music of the 1960s, 70s and a few 80s tunes, selecting songs that are vocally based.
We like doing harmonies, he said. Ingalls also sings with his churchs praise choir.
Ingalls said he always enjoys listening to Strutz and would love to play music with them again, but he had to draw the line.
If I joined the band, Id have to rehearse and its too far. . . too much time, he lamented.
Ron and Susan play with several different musical groups, Ingalls said hes just happy to be involved in some way.
Its an incredible blessing, he said. I never get tired of Ds [Deanne Hansen] voice. I can listen to her sing the same songs over and over.
He said that Strutz is like family to him after all these years.
Toby is a force of nature, Ingalls laughed.
I dont care where you go in Snohomish County, that guy knows three people in every room.