A small note on big band from Four Corners

A new and quite remarkable sound has arisen in the valley. The Southwest Civic Winds, directed by Dr. Mark Walters, with nurture by Ruth Katzin-Kilpatrick, is presenting truly outstanding entertainment, well worth your attendance when the opportunity arises. Most recently, the band, composed of brass, woodwind and percussion performers, presented a wide-ranging program at the Community Concert Hall.

My personal experience with band music is from the big-band era of dance bands and occasional attendance at West Point Army Band concerts. So I didn’t know quite what to expect of a 50-plus band of volunteers gathered from the Four Corners. The experience was truly a gift to those attending, and I believe we all look forward to an extended engagement by the group in the years ahead.

Beginning with the “Star Spangled Banner” (what else?) and concluding with a suite by Francis McBeth portraying a musical biography of characters from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, the band tackled tough music head-on. My favorite was the “Perthshier Majesty” by Samuel Hazo. I like the big sound of pieces such as that, and it reminded me of the music behind the old “Victory At Sea” television series of the last century. Know what I mean?

If not, plan to attend the next performance July 21 at Rotary Park. You will not be disappointed.

Mitch Sprowso