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Charlottesville's own We Are Star Children releasing first album in 10 years

Visions of stardom keep some bands on the road, because parking the van and getting a 9-to-5 job dims the lights on a dream. For members of We Are Star Children, an appreciation for each other’s day jobs and lives has kept a creative collaboration going strong.

On Monday, the nine-member Charlottesville band will release a new album, “Spitfire.” It captures what one musician calls the band’s dedication to “serious fun.”

“This is our first album in ten years,” Gene Osborn said. “This project is beautifully built up around our lives. We are teachers and business leaders. We are not trying to pay rent with our music. I’ve had professional musicians share that they are jealous of us.”

Finding a way to blend their musical, professional and personal lives that works for them means the musicians don’t have to shelve their creative sides and wonder what might have been.

“I’m an educator, first and foremost,” said Osborn, an assistant principal at a local school. “I find myself living a life that’s nuanced. I’m very appreciative of how rich our lives have become.”

Also in the band are a middle-school choral director, a trumpet-playing Realtor and a keyboardist with a glass-blowing studio.

“You’re forging something. You’re creating something together,” Osborn said. “The chemistry has grown over time. That’s why I feel so strongly that we have to rely on each other as friends.”

Fans who’d like a glimpse of the band’s bond can check out a new short film by Trevor Pryzuski. “The Making of ‘Spitfire’ and the We Are Star Children Community Choir — A Tribute to Trayvon Martin” can be found on YouTube. Such life experiences as working with children and becoming parents have helped the musicians take a more personal approach to gun violence, systemic racism and other topics.

“The community-building experiences we’ve had are really, in a big way, what keeps me going,” Osborn said. After picking up a catering order at a grocery store for the band’s photo shoot, “I felt like an absolute rock star,” he said. “And then I went to a pancake breakfast at my school.”

A sense of balance in life extends to the music for a band known for “adventure pop.”

“It doesn’t have to be soul-searching all the time,” Osborn said, adding that it’s also important to laugh at life and the “hilarious chaos” it brings.

“On paper, some bands would consider themselves failures if they had the numbers we have,” Osborn said. “I see us as wildly successful. We stayed together, and that’s so meaningful to me.”

We Are Star Children will have an album release party for “Spitfire” at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at the Southern Café and Music Hall. Mayday and Charlie Shea also are on the bill.

Tickets are $15 at the door and $12 in advance. For tickets and details, go to


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