Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Things To Do

June 27, 2013

Visiting Big Band leaders join Swing Street group for July 6 FFG dance

Big dance band leaders from Indiana and Ohio will join the 18-member Swing Street Big Band for its second summer dance at the Fairfield Glade Community and Conference Center.

The three-hour dance, part of the Fairfield Glade Fourth of July holiday weekend observance, will begin at 7 p.m., Saturday, July 6.

Long-time friends of William Schneider, director of The Swing Street Big Band, the two will “sit-in” with the band for the dance. It marks the beginning of the second year of programs for swing music lovers and ballroom dancers from Middle Tennessee. 

Visiting for the dance are Jerry Jerome, leader of the Stardusters Orchestra of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Terry Kitchen, leader of the Swing City Big Band, Cleveland, Ohio.

Jerome will fill a trombone chair in the band and Kitchen will play in the saxophone section.

In addition, Nashville song writer Lynn Beal, who leads her own 12-piece big band, will join as one of three vocalists for the July 6 event. She and her band perform twice monthly at The Pink Slip in the Hotel Preston, just west of the Nashville Airport.

Following a successful fund-raising concert for Habitat for Humanity of Cumberland County at Stone Memorial High School, Schneider said he is looking to expand awareness of the quality of music provided by the Swing Street Big Band across Middle Tennessee.

“More than 500 persons attended the concert and gave us a standing ovation. Afterward, many said we brought back memories of the best in big band music,” Schneider said.

The Swing Street group’s second year performing in Fairfield Glade, continues a 16-year history of big band dance music programs in the resort community.

The two band leaders who are joining the band for Saturday’s performance have extensive resumes for top quality music performances, Schneider said.

“Jerome and the Stardusters perform annually at the historic Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis, for example,” he said.

The 8,700-square-foot Indiana Roof Ballroom has been offering big band dance music since it opened in 1927. Its history includes performances of all the major big bands and vocalists including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.

Kitchen and Schneider started the Black Tie Big Band in Vermilion, Ohio in the 1990s. Kitchen took it over when Schneider moved to Tennessee.

Beal will sing six songs including “Sensible,” one of her compositions.

She will join the two regular Swing Street Big Band vocalists, Rusty McClanahan and Wanda Hepburn.

Also joining the group for the July dance will be Mike Wyatt, a drummer-percussionist with the Lynn Beal Big Band, and guitarist Randy Harrison from the Indianapolis area.

Wyatt fills in for regular drummer Kurt Snider, who is on vacation. Wyatt has been part of the Nashville music scene for more than 30 years. He has worked with Grand Ole Opry star Charlie Louvin, toured with country music legend and movie actor Jerry Reed, and recorded with well-known country and Christian music group Diamond Rio.

The band’s program will be three 45-minute sets. It will include several patriotic numbers in addition to swing, fox trot, waltz, slow ballads, cha cha, tango, and rumbas.

“With Beal and Wyatt joining us, we’ll add several new charts to our program,” said Schneider.

Tables for the dance seat eight persons and may be reserved. Beverages are available for purchase. Guests may bring snacks.

The Fairfield Glade Community and Conference Center is at 128 Stonehenge Road, six miles north of I-40 (Exist 322, Peavine Road).

Tickets are $27.50 per couple ($13.75 per person), including tax, in advance. Tickets are $16.50 per person at the door. Reservations can be made and tickets paid prior to the event at the Center. Phone reservations may be charged to a credit card by calling the Center at 931-484-3722. 

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