Thursday, April 8, 2010

Swing Orchestra.

Being a retired band director naturally should mean that I play a musical instrument. My primary is the trumpet. through the years I have been able to keep the chops in working order while teaching. My durability is mch less than my youth. Maybe if I played 2 to 3 hours a day, it would come back.

When we moved to Corsicana, we went to a summer outdoor concert (at a Methodist church ) of the Corsicana Swing Orchestra ( C S O ). This is a local big band, jazz type group: 5 saxes, 4 bones, 4 trpts, full rhythmsection and a female vocalist- music from pre40's up until present. The concert was fun to hear. Afterwards I talked to couple of guys about the group. Over the past 2 years, we heard them at different local, civic events. sometimes they seemed hard pressed for members - other times not.

The town had an event downtown last December. I figured out who was boss & introduced myself along with my name and address. I got a call back late January: they were looking for a 4th trumpet player. With my present chops, 4th is about my style. The first rehearsal was quite interesting. They have a play book with hundreds of songs arranged by number. A printed list was handed out before the rehearsal. We played the list and went home. Many in the band were not sightreading...not bad.

The boss Jerry plays 1st trumpet. The actual director fronts the group & plays 2nd trumpet. 3rd trumpet is a local Jr. College player. I pull up the 4th chair.

The 2nd rehearsal one week later had a different printed playlist. On that evening I learned the group had a job planned in March - possible money would change hands.

The job was in Waxahachie for the meals on wheels folks. They were doing a 40s night with jitterbug dancers out of Ft. Worth - decorations - some costumes - Frank & Ella & Cab & Shirley T. & the Andrew Sisters immitators. Was actually quite entertaining. I would have played in this group just for the fun of it - money was gravy.

We have another job in the near future for a wedding reception & a jazz concert at a nearby high school. To me the most interesting bit is that members include the local County Judge, HM Davenport - the local Asst. chief of police - an electrician - students - retired folks and so forth. I might send more on this later.

Now for the one who have played dances before - listen to this organization. Jerry pulls a trailer loaded with all sound equipment & lights. He brings risers for the brass section. We have our own folding chairs & Manhasset stands - some signs & decorations - 2 electric pianos (one subs for the bass player). Everything fits carefully into the trailer just so.

that's it = more later


  1. Is that Mr Davenport any distant relative of your wife? Would be interesting if he is---it is a small world you know?