By DELANIA TRIGG, Register Staff Writer
Gainesville Daily Register
Gainesville Swing Orchestra’s “A Swingin’ Christmas” is a holiday concert like none other.
Set for 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9 at the First State Bank Center for the Performing Arts on the North Central Texas College Gainesville campus, the concert will put a Big Band-era spin on 15 holiday favorites including a jazzy rendition of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
Beloved holiday classics take on a new flavor in the hands of GSO — an orchestra which has entertained audiences for 31 years.
Members represent various professions and have included physicians, attorneys, educators and band directors.
The musicians range from accomplished young music students to seasoned veteran performers. The organization’s website states GSO members are 26 to 85 years of age.
Gainesville Swing Orchestra was once called Cooke County Orchestra.
The group was created to provide music during a Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce event which featured former Texas Governor Bill Clements as keynote speaker.
Original members of the orchestra included Cooke and Grayson county residents and some University of North Texas students.
Member Dean Patterson said many GSO musicians are linked to some of the country’s top performers including Harry Connick, Jr. and Count Basie.
“It is not unusual to find past members names on professional recordings,” Patterson has noted.
This year’s concert will be slightly different from previous “Swingin’ Christmas’ offerings, he said.
GSO members decided to move their annual holiday concert from a Thursday evening to a Sunday afternoon.
“We felt like Sunday afternoon wouldn’t interfere with people’s plans for church and would give them time for lunch before the concert begins,” Patterson said.
GSO guests can also expect to hear more vocals than in previous years.
The list of songs on the roster include“Mistletoe and Holly,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”
Vocalists will include conductor Dave Alexander, Maria Harris and Toney Walsh.
Walsh, Patterson said, belts out songs in the tradition of Frank Sinatra.
The concert is an annual fundraiser for the swing orchestra, a member of the Cooke County Arts Council.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth.
They may be purchased at Horace Mann/Kevin Beall Insurance Agency on East California Street in Gainesville or by calling Dean Patterson at (940) 736-1714.
Tickets will also be available at the Center for the Performing Arts the night of the concert.