- Cullman, Alabama

February 3, 2013

Annual Big Band Dance Friday at Cullman Civic Center

By Loretta Gillespie
The Cullman Times

— The 17th annual Big Band Dance, featuring the Cullman High School Jazz Band, will be held Friday, Feb. 8, at the McGukin Civic Center in Cullman.

This event is a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to come together, enjoy dancing, and celebrate a bygone era of music.

“That’s one of the reason’s that I believe that this is such a great community event,” says Cullman High Band Director Christopher Smith.

Many young people have never experienced this historic music, music that their great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers listened to, music set to a backdrop of war and great expansion in many countries. It was music of the ’40s and ’50s and man, was it ever lively!

This year’s Big Band Dance will feature 22 Cullman High School Jazz Band students in grades 9 through 12. Membership in the jazz band is by audition only.

“We will perform a wide variety of music including swing, Latin, rock and roll, ballads, waltzes, bossa nova, rhumba, and rhythm and blues,” said Smith.

For those who are a little rusty, or have never danced to this type of music, don’t let that stop you, because there will be dance instructors giving lessons 30 minutes prior to the start of the dance so that guests can learn some of the styles that will be performed throughout the evening.

The jazz band will perform a variety of music for dancing with an emphasis on big band swing. Some people will recall the names of the Big Band leaders, and the songs that made them famous. Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood”, Woody Herman’s “Woodchopper’s Ball”, and Duke Ellington’s “Satin Doll” are just a sampling of the swinging selections that will be performed at the dance.

The Big Band Dance will have door prizes and refreshments throughout the evening.

Admission to the dance, which is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m., is $6/person or $10/couple. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door. All proceeds will benefit the Cullman Band Program.

“We always have a very diverse crowd at the Big Band Dance. Members of the community both young and old always come out and celebrate this night of music together,” said Smith. “It's also a great opportunity to come out and hear great jazz music from one of the finest eras in music history.”

For more information, contact Christopher Smith at 256-734-3923; by fax at 256-734-9570.