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Category: Band


Blues Vespers on this Sunday, not Saturday, at Immanuel Presbyterian, Tacoma

Contrary to what ArtTix might have told you in this morning’s GO section, the monthly Blues Vespers at Immanuel Presbyterian is on Sunday at 5pm, not Saturday. Featured artists are Junkyard Jane and Jim King, and the Rev. Dave Brown will speak on “Dr. King: Dreaming like Martin.” It’s free, as always.

901 N. J St., Tacoma. 253-627-8371, ipctacoma.org


Rich Wetzel’s Big Band Christmas, next week at Tacoma Community College

Big band great Stan Kenton. Courtesy image.

If you’ve had enough of traditional Christmas carols and classical, Rich Wetzel is here to save your sanity. The trumpeter and big band leader of the Groovin’ Higher Orchestra is expanding his troops and going back to the days of jazz pioneer Stan Kenton for a concert at Tacoma Community College next week.

“Stan Kenton was a the equivalent of a rock star in his day,” explained Wetzel, “and his big band made the transition from a purely dance band in the swing era to a jazz band. Even toward the end of the dance era, he would do a jazz set where the musicians would stretch out and the audiences would listen. Later he got more experimental with instrumentation of this big band including using mellophones.”

Wetzel’s 26-piece band will do all this and more in “A Stan Kenton Big Band Christmas” next Thursday. Read more »


Tacoma Concert Band Decks the Rialto for the holidays

Don’t forget the brass this Christmas – musical brass, that is. The brass, wind and percussion of the Tacoma Concert Band are presenting their first holiday concert in over 20 years this Sunday in the intimate acoustics of the downtown Rialto Theater.

Featuring mezzo-soprano Dawn Padula, voice professor at the University of Puget Sound, as guest artist, the program ranges through Christmas, Chanukah and holiday music arranged by composers from Leroy Anderson, Irving Berlin and Adolphe Adam to Charles Gounod and J. S. Bach, including and several arrangements recorded by Mannheim Steamroller.

The concert will also be recorded

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Rich Wetzel’s Groovin’ Higher Orchestra at Marine LIVE Jazz

Jazz LIVE at Marine View kicks off its fourth year featuring its first big band at the popular monthly concert series – Rich Wetzel and his Groovin’ Higher Jazz Orchestra. A Tacoma musician, Wetzel combines his own high-energy trumpet riffs with a 15-piece big band influenced by Maynard Ferguson.

5 p.m. March 11. Free, all ages. Marine View Church, 8469 Eastside Dr. NE, Tacoma. 253-229-9206, www.marineviewpc.org



South Kitsap High School music program wins $10,000 in Schools of the Rock Battle of the Bands

South Kitsap High School has won the fifth annual Schools of The Rock Battle of the Bands competition, sponsored by The Rock Wood Fired Pizza restaurant. The school’s music program won the $10,000 prize in the competition that pitted 28 high school marching bands from across Washington and the Portland, Ore. area against each other with online video recordings of rock hits.

The 10 schools with the most text votes were judged by a panel of celebrity judges, including Andy McKeag from The Presidents of the United States of America; Brad McDavid, band leader at the University of Washington;

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Tacoma Concert Band celebrates 30 years with flair

The Tacoma Concert Band definitely had something worth celebrating last Saturday night at its 30th Anniversary Spectacular concert in the Pantages Theater – great playing, innovative programming and a whole lot of commitment.

Putting together a varied program that pulled from the band’s 30 years of going way beyond the Sousa box was founding director Robert Musser, careful and competent with the baton. After a Sousa march (the very first piece the band ever played) came a string of vibrant favorites, played with flair: the March from Hindemith’s “Symphonic Metamorphoses,” with its ominous-turned-triumphant theme just slightly messy, but offset

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Hear Tacoma Concert Band for free in South Sound parks

Summer and Sousa make an excellent combination, and nobody does it better than the Tacoma Concert Band. This 60-piece band is celebrating its 30th anniversary this season, and opens with “Fantasia!” on October 9 at the Pantages, complete with a world premiere composition for harp and band. The season continues with Sousa, Mexican music and a reappearance by trumpet virtuoso Alan Vizutti.

But this week you can hear them for free in the great outdoors, in their annual Summer Concerts in the Parks series. Each concert has a “pops”-style program of best-of-bands, and is a fun thing for families.

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Pianist Eun Joo Chung plays East-West mix with Tacoma Concert Band

Pianist Eun Joo Chung. Photo courtesy Tacoma Concert Band.

Tacoma Concert Band are going all out for their final performance for the season this Saturday night at the Pantages. The program is billed as East-meets-West: an American band playing both American and Asian pieces, and featuring young Korean concert pianist Eun Joo Chung.

Chung has made quite a career for herself since her Carnegie Hall debut in 2004, giving recitals in Berlin and Vienna and opening Seattle’s Town Hall Virtuoso Piano Series. She’s won international competitions like the Viotti, Schubert and World

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