It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing! The Lethbridge Community Gold Band and Lethbridge Big Band join forces for an evening of Big Band music!
Lethbridge, AB: Don your zoot suits and poodle skirts and dance the night away to your favourite swing tunes from the Big Band era! The Lethbridge Community Gold Band with special guests the Lethbridge Big Band join forces on Saturday, February 18 at 7pm at College Drive Community Church to bring to Lethbridge an unforgettable Night of Big Band Music!
The Lethbridge Community Gold Band, under the direction of Samuel Yamamoto, will perform a varied set list, including “At A Dixieland Jazz Funeral”; Mambo from West Side Story; a medley of the Gershwin classics An American In Paris, Cuban Overture and Rhapsody in Blue; Ellington’s most familiar songs Take The “A” Train, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, Mood Indigo and It Don’t Mean A Thing; and much more!
The Lethbridge Big Band will perform hit favourites from the swing era, including It Had to Be You, Come Fly With Me, Almost Like Being In Love, The Way You Look Tonight and more!
The two bands will join forces for a final selection of Woodchopper’s Ball, Caravan, April in Paris, and more.
The evening will surely inspire audiences to leave the concert tapping their toes, humming their favourites, and wanting more! Don’t miss these two bands performing on the same stage! Tickets are available now, online at lcbs.ca, at Casa and at the door.
What: A Night of Big Band Music
When: Saturday, February 18, 2017
Where: College Drive Community Church, 2710 College Drive South, Lethbridge, AB
Tickets: $15 regular, children 12 and younger are free. Available at online at lcbs.ca, Casa (230 8th St South) and the door.
The Lethbridge Community Band gratefully acknowledges the Alberta Foundation for the Arts for their continued support.
Our Mission Statement: “The Lethbridge Community Band Society is committed to the prospect of enriching the quality of life in Lethbridge and surrounding area by promoting the study and performance of instrumental music, with special emphasis on concert band music commonly written for woodwind, brass and percussion instruments”.
The Lethbridge Community Band was formed in 1987 to fill a void in the Lethbridge music scene; namely, to provide a learning and performance outlet for brass, woodwind and percussion players of all ages. 2016-2017 is the 30th Anniversary of offering music to Southern Alberta.
Since its inception, the Society has grown to become a valued cultural asset of Southern Alberta, having offered performances to thousands of concert patrons, schools and students.
LETHBRIDGE BIG BAND
During the formative years of the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra, directed by Albert Rodnunsky, a group of musicians from the Symphony formed a Dixieland combo to perform in the Spring Concert of 1963. After this concert, the group decided to form a formal dance band group and performed their first dance gig in the fall of 1964.
There was no formal leader of the Lethbridge Big Band (LBB) in the early years, but in 1965, Cliff Harvey joined the group and became its first official leader. Nick Kucheran, Bob Findlay, Jerry Pokarney, Grant Erickson, Ernie Block and Paul Walker followed him over the years. Paul Walker has been the Musical Director for the last 24 years and Don Robb leads the band in Paul’s absence.
In the early years, many of the band members were health care professionals, like Drs. Maurie Marshall, Tony Pomahac, Jim Noble, Al Billett and Fred Wood, and through their connection with Miss Claudia Tennant, the Head of Nursing at the Municipal Hospital, the band found a home to rehearse on the stage of the gym at the nurses’ residence until it was torn down to build the current hospital in the early 1980s.
The band has played hundreds of dances, balls, weddings, fund raisers, concerts and many civic celebrations over the past 53 years and in addition to providing a rich mentoring environment for young musicians. During the last 53 years, over two hundred different musicians have performed with the Lethbridge Big Band, helping to keep the tradition of Big Band Swing music alive and prospering.
Almost half of the band members on stage were past students of Jerry Pokarney at the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute and through Jerry were asked to substitute with the LBB while still in High School and eventually joined the band’s ranks. The band carries on this mentorship tradition with University of Lethbridge music students today.
The band today involves 17 musicians, consisting of 5 saxophones, 4 trombones, 4 trumpets, drums, bass, piano and a singer. The band plays in the style of the Big Band Era, with classic songs from Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra and many more.