Swing and jazz music will fill the Smith-Cotton High School cafeteria this evening as 40 students participate in the 10th annual Big Band Dance that will benefit Sedalia School District 200 instrumental programs.
SCHS Director of Bands C. Grant Maledy said those participating are the S-C Junior High Jazz Band, SCHS Jazz I and II, plus a S-C faculty group. He is expecting approximately 200 people to attend the event.
“We use it as a cumulative exercise for the end of the year,” Maledy added. “I make selections from the stuff we’ve been working on all year. Some of it is a better fit for the Big Band Dance than others.”
Some of the numbers to be played this evening are “Memphis Blues,” “Beyond the Sea,” “The Children of Sanchez,” “How High the Moon” and “500 Miles High.”
Dancing will be included in the evening’s activities and Judge Richard Paul Beard and his wife will provide dance lessons.
“The Beards are going to do some dance instruction,” Maledy noted. “So if you don’t have any experience, you can come out and learn.”
Refreshments will be served during the evening. There will also be a silent auction.
“There’s some great stuff from the (St. Louis) Cardinals and the (Kansas City) Royals and the (Kansas City) Chiefs,” Maledy said. “There’s some really great baskets that our families have put together.”
Maledy said there are seven seniors in the music program who will play or sing in tonight’s event: Patrick Brockenborough, Avery Snelling, Derrick Weller, Sarah Myers, Maggie Holman, Courtney Cooper and Austin Wood. Of those, Cooper (trombone), Myers (trombone), Weller (trumpet), and Wood (trombone), plan to continue their music education in college.
“We’re looking forward to having a good sendoff for them,” he said. “We’re hopeful that Avery and Patrick will (continue).”
Maledy said this has been a great year for the band students.
“They are doing really well,” he added. “They have been doing a lot of good work. We just had a great trip to the Jazz Festival on Saturday at Missouri State. They got straight one ratings there. We’re excited to share that with our home community here.”
Maledy noted the band students still have a busy few weeks left before the end of the year. On Saturday they will perform at The Night at the Heckart, on May 5 the fifth grade band and the SCHS Jazz Band will host a concert at the Sedalia Middle School, on May 10 the SCHS Band will host a concert and banquet, and on May 13 the sixth through eight grade band will host a concert at SCJH.
“Then we play for commencement,” Maledy added. “We really don’t do breaks here. As soon as commencement is done, we’ll give them their music for marching band for next fall.
“They can work on that the week before they go home for the summer,” he added laughing. “We don’t watch a lot of movies around here.”
Maledy said those attending tonight’s Big Band Dance may come dressed up or in casual attire.
“Some folks go all out, and some folks come in jeans,” he added.
The Big Band Dance will be hosted from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight in the SCHS cafeteria, 2010 Tiger Pride Blvd. There will be live music, dancing, refreshments and a silent auction. Tickets may be purchased at the door or by calling 851-5366. The cost is $5 per person.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.