Big Band Bash an evening of food, fun and Frank

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 11, 2016

It was the biggest Big Band Bash yet.

Some 250 patrons attended Big Band Bash, which included a tribute to Frank Sinatra, whose 100th birthday was Dec. 12. It was the biggest attendance in the event’s 15 years, according to Dr. Michael Bitzer, who served as committee co-chair with wife Andrea Anders. The Big Band Bash serves as the major fundraiser for the Salisbury Symphony.

First, the crowd gathered in Hedrick Little Theatre for a nearly hour-long concert by a big band ensemble of symphony musicians, led as always by Maestro David Hagy. Then, it was over to the Crystal Lounge for dinner and dancing to cap the evening.

Not one but six different vocalists sang the hits from Ol’ Blue Eyes. Singers included Kent Bernhardt, John Brincefield, Bill Bucher, Lonnie Carpenter, Greg Edds and Robert Van Geons.

“It really has been a joy,” Hagy remarked of working with the tuxedoed gentlemen. “It just proves how many great singers we have in Salisbury.”

The band also had a chance to shine in the bouncy instrumental, “Two O’ Clock Jump.” Hagy stepped to the side during that number.

“They don’t need me at all, as you can see,” he quipped.

Jean Wurster was thrilled to win a trip for two to New York City. Charles and Rachel Oestreicher Bernheim sponsored the trip.

Along with Bitzer and Anders, Big Band Bash committee members included Emily Blanton, Buddy Farnan, Laura Lewis, Carol Murphy, Lane Wallace, Jordan Warren and Wurster.

— Susan Shinn