By DELANIA TRIGG, Register Staff Writer
The Cooke County Arts Council will present “Sweet Sounds — an Evening of Art, Music and Desserts” at 6:30 p.m., Friday, April 5 at the First State Bank Center for the Performing Arts on the North Central Texas College Gainesville campus.
The show is a fundraiser for the Cooke County Arts Council scholarship fund.
The council includes Gainesville Swing Orchestra, North Central Texas Chorale, Butterfield Stage Players, Gainesville Area Visual Arts (GAVA) and the Gainesville Council of Garden Clubs.
The event will begin with a mixer set to include wine, soft drinks and desserts, Gainesville Swing Orchestra founder and manager Dean Patterson said.
He also noted GAVA members plan an art exhibit in the lobby of the Center for Performing Arts.
The auditorium is set to open at 7:30 with a presentation by performers Kelly Fiore-Watson, Jeffrey Watson, Susan Beall and Kevin Beall.
The comedy skit will be followed by music from the North Central Texas Chorale, he said.
This year’s chorale presentation should be a little different from years past, Patterson noted.
“The chorale is going to do more of a jazz show than what they have in the past,” he said. “They’ll do songs like “Swingin’ on a Star,” “I’ve Got Rythmn,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Over the Rainbow,” “Strike up the Band,” and “42nd Street. They’ll be some really great classic jazz numbers.”
After an intermission, another comedy skit is planned followed by a performance from the Gainesville Swing Orchestra.
Patterson said his organization has planned a tribute to trumpet player Harry James.
“Harry James was a great trumpet player and band leader from the 1930s and ‘40s,” he said. “He was the second best behind Glen Miller. He was well known among his peers as a great sight reader and lead trumpet player. It’s been said if a fly landed on his (sheet) music, he would read the fly as if it were a music note.”
Patterson said in addition to James’ technical skill, the musician was also known for his generous spirit.
“Harry James was more than a great entertainer,” Patterson said. “He gave Frank Sinatra his first opportunity to sing in front of a well-known big band. When Tommy Dorsey heard Sinatra, he recruited Sinatra away from Harry. You have to give Harry credit for having concern for his people. He wanted what was best for Sinatra.”
The Swing Orchestra concert is set to include “You Made Me Love You,” “What’s New?” and “Sing, Sing, Sing,” Patterson said.
Accomplished musician and conductor Dave Alexander is scheduled to direct the Swing Orchestra.
General admission tickets are $15. Admission for seniors and children is $10. Tickets are available from Horace Mann Insurance — Kevin Beall or by contacting any member of the Cooke County Arts Council.
For information call (940) 736-1714.