Alternate Ending just beginning

A local band, Alternate Ending, is to play at the Knights of Columbus lot at 8 p.m. Sept. 21 during the Tiffin Seneca Heritage Festival.

The group was organized about two years ago but did not start performing together until January. Since then, they have played in Clyde, Tiro and the Tiffin area.

The band includes Dustin Ritchie, vocals; Matt Hill, guitar; Andy Althaus, bass; Jayson Ritchie, drums; and Anthony Runion, sound technician. Their set list includes songs by

Godsmack, Alice Cooper, Lynrd Skynyrd, Pearl Jam, The Black Crowes, Bad Company, AC/DC, Stone Temple Pilots, Jimi Hendrix and 3 Doors Down.

Dustin Ritchie, who works at Mercy Tiffin Hospital, explained how the band was formed.

“I had won some money in Vegas, and I told myself I was going to buy a guitar with it. I had talked to Matt about giving me some guitar lessons,” he said.

Having done some karaoke and “singing into my steering wheel,” he had a few songs he wanted to learn on guitar. Ritchie sang as Hill played during the first lesson. Hill must have liked what he heard.

“We were kind of leaving, and he said ‘When do you want to start?’ I said ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘Let’s get something going.’ I was pretty excited about that because … Jayson and Matt have always been in bands,” Ritchie said. “Jayson’s my brother and Matt’s my cousin. I’ve always been around them and always wanted to play in a band with them. It was my opportunity at that time.”

Hill and Ritchie began as a duo to see what songs worked best and then added Jayson about a month later. By day, Jayson works at Owens Corning in Tiffin. After trying to locate a bass player, Hill was able to recruit Althaus, a co-worker from Toledo Molding and Die, to the band.

The next project was deciding on a name. The foursome came up with suggestions and then narrowed them down to the one they wanted. Ritchie credited Hill with Alternate Ending.

The band appeared for its first show in January at the Viaduct in Tiffin.

Hill said he has been playing guitar 15 or 16 years.

“My dad was in bands when I was young and I always remember going to wedding receptions when they played. Music has just always been around,” Hill said. “He did mostly country and classic rock.”

Jayson said he played drums in high school, but his interest in music began earlier than that.

“I got started from my uncle, watching him play. He was in a lot of bands,” Jayson said.

Although Althaus started out as a drummer, he now prefers to play guitar. The drum lessons provided a good musical foundation.

“My dad bought me my first drum set for Christmas when I was 10, and I played in the Columbian marching band,” Althaus said.

Runion was the final addition to Alternate Ending.

“They played out at a show called ‘Biller Bash.’ It was the first year for it so it was the first time I had seen them play. They were having issues trying to do the sound board and put on a show at the same time. They got done with the show and I offered to help with the sound. I don’t have a musical bone in my body. I love music, but I can’t play,” Runion said.

“He has a good ear,” Dustin interjected.

By the first of the year, the musicians want to add original songs to their show. They have written a handful together, and Ritchie has a few more of his own compositions to contribute. They also hope to do some recording.

“We’ll basically work to build a good fan base and then come out with the original stuff,” Ritchie said.

The group has a website,, and a Facebook page.