BSPAC Big Band Gala
Last updated 11/27/2016 at 2:16pm
The Borrego Springs Performing Arts Center’s (BSPAC) Big Band Gala had guests filling the courtyard outside its doors. A sumptuous buffet was laid on through a ‘pot luck’ provided by the board members and wine flowed freely while Haddon Salt serenaded the crowd with his violin.
It wasn’t long before the seats were filled and the evening began, with Glen Miller’s “In the Mood”. Made up of professional musicians brought together from such greats as the Benny Goodman; Tommy Dorsey, Glen Miller, Art Shaw, Duke Ellington and County Basie bands, it wasn’t long before heads were bobbing and hands were clapping.
The Big Band All Stars played two sets each lasting forty-five minutes and brought out a string of hits from the past, included songs by Tommy Dorsey, and a lively version of Woody Herman’s “Woodchoppers Ball” and Les Brown’s “Bob Hope Theme. “It’s a great turn-out” said Kym McNabb representing BSPAC, “everyone has been really receptive. We’ve been doing this for over ten years and it’s always nice to see the community come out and support us.”
As well as the music, the audience were kept entertained by the quick wit of the band leader who made a note of pointing out that they had been made aware of ‘Borrego Midnight’ and would be finishing promptly at nine p.m. Despite being advertised as a Palm Springs band, most of the members had driven up to five hours for the event, with one coming all the way from Norway. Usually the group is made up of fifty, professional studio players who form a sixteen-piece band. Despite halving their numbers to fit on the stage, from the reception the group received, they are keen to come back in bigger numbers to a venue that can have the audience up on their feet. One member summed it up perfectly “We are blessed to be here” he said. I think the audience would agree, that we were blessed to have them.