Big Band Bash comes to Catawba Jan. 10

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 2, 2009

The Salisbury Symphony’s popular fund-raiser, the Big Band Bash, is back this year to warm up a cold January night with music dancing, food and fun.
Scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 10, the band kicks off at 7:30 p.m. in Hedrick Auditorium at Catawba College with the music of Benny Goodman, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, and other big names that made “big” band music big.
After the 45-minute concert, everyone ó band members and audience ó cross the patio to the Crystal Ballroom to continue the music, this time with room for dancing, hors d’oeuvres, conversation and celebration.
“This is always my ‘New Year’s Eve,’ ” said the Symphony’s Executive Director Linda Jones. “It’s delicious to dance to a live band, up close enough to feel the beat.”
Music Director David Hagy has invited Mary Siebert, mezzo soprano, to be this year’s guest soloist.
Siebert began her career as a cabaret and music theater performer in her native Montana. She was a national winner of the Metropolitan Opera Competition, performing at the Met in a nationally broadcast event. She has performed leading operatic roles with Houston Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, New Orleans Opera, Opera Delaware, and others.
She served as the resident vocal soloist at the Grand Teton Music Festival for six years, and performed more than 50 solo recitals nation-wide with Community Concerts. Her eclectic career includes leading roles in musicals such as The Man of LaMancha, Anything Goes, and Oliver!, and she recorded solo demos with Paul Simon for his Broadway musical The Capeman.
Siebert has appeared regionally with the Magnolia Baroque Festival, as soloist with the Piedmont Chamber Singers, at composer Ken Frazelle’s 50th Birthday Party Concert, and with the Piedmont Chamber Symphony.
She currently serves as arts coordinator at the Arts Based Elementary School in Winston-Salem, and designs arts-based curriculum for children. Her freelance writing has been published in Parenting and Cosmopolitan magazines, and she conceived and wrote a children’s opera for NCSA’s Fletcher Institute outreach program.
Another treat for the evening’s guests will be an appearance and special dance number by Piedmont Dance Theatre co-directors Rebecca and Daniel Wiley. Those who marveled at their artistry in “The Nutcracker,” presented recently with the Symphony, will appreciate anew their dancing talents.
The start time is a half-hour earlier than in the past.
“People are just eager to get started,” said Big Band Bash Chairperson Jean Wurster.
“Many asked us to consider an earlier starting time, and we are glad to accommodate them. What people enjoy most, the music and musicians, the dancing, David Hagy’s enthusiastic conducting, the delicious food, and provocative ambiance, will be as wonderful, if not better, than in years past. We expect another sold-out event.” Tickets are now available for purchase at the Convention & Visitors Bureau, Literary Bookpost, Caniche, Pleasant Papers, and A Step In Time.
Ticket cost is $75 per person. For more information, call the symphony office at 704-637-4314.