The local holiday season gets a soundtrack of premium quality with “A Swingin’ Christmas,” performed by Gainesville Swing Orchestra (GSO) and set for Sunday.
GSO is a 20-piece orchestra with instrumental soloists and vocalists. “A Swingin’ Christmas” features Christmas and holiday music played in many different “Big Band” styles, and the funds earned from the annual holiday concert helps with the expenses of the operation of the band.
The concert is set for 2 p.m. Sunday at the First State Bank Center of Performing Arts at Gainesville’s North Central Texas College.
Organizer and trombonist Dean Patterson said “Swingin’ Christmas” was performed in 2008, and has commenced annually since.
“It’s an opportunity to hear Christmas numbers with a big-band soundtrack and different styles of music,” Patterson said. “And I guess what maybe makes it different this year is that we’re playing a few more styles of music than we have in the past.”
The different styles of the music during Sunday’s concert — performed by GSO by musicians ranging in age from 11 to 88 — include standard Christmas songs plus Latin music, ballads, New Orleans street-beat, swing, rock and runk. Two of the arrangements set for performance during Sunday’s concert were written especially for GSO.
The band is under the direction of Dave Alexander, an all-around performer who has won many awards. He was inducted into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame and named “The Male Vocalist of the Year” in 2004 by the Academy of Western Artists. He is also a three-time Grammy nominee and has performed with many of the most notable entertainers of music, from Willie Nelson to Mel Torme’.
Patterson added in a release that the rest of the GSO band members come from many different walks of life: school teachers, building contractors, salesmen, doctors,, radio repairmen and students. More than half the band members have received their music education from the University of North Texas, and many have worked as professional musicians at one time or another.
All members in the GSO share a common love of the music from the “Big Band” era. Year round, GSO performs at many different events and also helps the Cooke County Arts Council (CCAC) with the organization’s scholarship fundraiser. Last year, following a fundraising phase, the CCAC was able to give a $1,000 scholarship to a Cooke County graduating senior.
Ticket costs for “A Swingin’ Christmas” are $10 for adults and $5 for students. For more information, call (940) 736-1714.
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