Swing band to open for symphony

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 29, 2011

By Joanie Morris
For the Salisbury Post
SALISBURY — This year, for the first time in Pops at the Post history, the Salisbury Symphony will have an opener.
The Salisbury Swing Band, lead by Steve Etters, will play on the porch of First Bank from 5 to 7 p.m. on June 4, just before the symphony goes on at the Salisbury Post loading docks.
Etters said the appearance is the result of simply picking up the phone. He called Linda Jones, executive director of the symphony, and asked her if they were interested.
“We had wanted to try to do something last year and just ran out of time,” Etters said. The Salisbury Swing Band has been in existence for three years. “The folks at First Bank were very gracious in offering the facility there.”
Etters said the band — composed of 18 people, including vocalist Lonnie Carpenter — will be there to entertain folks who get to the event early. Tailgaters will be allowed in the Salisbury Post employee and First Bank parking lots beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday.
“We’re actually playing for the tailgaters, I guess,” said Etters. “Those that get there early.”
It really is true that the early bird gets the worm. While this band isn’t as well known as the Salisbury Symphony, it plays several times a month, preserving swing dance music and even stretching into the 1980s during sets.
“We’re very honored to be able to (play at First Bank) and to share in that event,” said Etters. ”The symphony has really turned Pops into an event that people look forward to. … It’s very nice to have those two genres represented in one afternoon.”
The set Saturday will incorporate a good mix of songs.
“We want to give everyone a taste of what we can do,” said Etters. “You’ll hear Glenn Miller, some Van Morrison, beach music, tunes from the Four Tops, all the way through Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble and Sting.”
The Salisbury Swing Band is donating the performance free to the community.
Salisbury Mayor Susan Kluttz said it’s a wonderful addition to include this as part of the overall event.
“They do a terrific job and it is very different,” said Kluttz. “It is another way to expose the community to another arts group that we have here, to highlight what we have in Salisbury. We have so much to be proud of here. It’s always exciting to me when we have a chance to pull groups together.”
“I’m glad that we have a ‘warm-up band’ if you will,” said Symphony Maestro David Hagy. “I think that’s delightful.”
For more information about the Salisbury Swing Band, visit www.salisburyswingband.com.
Joanie Morris is a freelance writer. She can be reached at 704-797-4248 or news@salisburypost.com.