L-R photo ID: Seated are Shirley LaRoche, Liz Rhea and Jane Blakey; standinding are Veronica Milnar and John and Bobbie Duke.
MTSU’s Friends of Music are preparing for another gala community celebration of the university’s School of Music: the sixth annual “Evening of Swing” dinner/dance event begins at 6:15 on Saturday night, November 10th, at Murfreesboro’s Stones River Country Club.
The evening will feature the big-band music of the 1930s and ’40s performed by MTSU’s two jazz ensembles, directed by MTSU music faculty members Jamey Simmons and Don Aliquo.
“The Friends’ annual ‘Evening of Swing’ galas have drawn large numbers of community members to enjoy the pre-reception, dinner, dancing and fellowship,” said Dr. George T. Riordan, director of the MTSU School of Music.
“We have a number of big-band music scores for our ensembles that will be familiar to everyone who enjoys swing music, including hits by the likes of Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey, so bring your dancing shoes.”
Individual tickets to the event, which includes dinner and a gala evening of music and dancing, are $100 per person. Tables seating eight are available for $800, and patron and major sponsor tables for up to 10 people are available for $1,000 and $2,500.
Adding that the country club is a “great place for dancing and enjoying music,” Riordan noted that “people have been very impressed with the authentic and danceable swing provided by our students in the MTSU jazz ensemble. This is a wonderful forum to introduce the high quality of our musicians to people who haven’t yet enjoyed concerts at the School of Music.”
Riordan said the Friends of Music was organized to encourage community members to enjoy the 200-plus concerts presented each year at MTSU and to help the school provide more services and opportunities to music students. The Friends also offer guidance to the School of Music by providing a community perspective.
“Proceeds from the last Evening of Swing in 2010 made it possible for some 50 or more music students to take advantage of professional opportunities that they otherwise would have to miss,” the director said.
“We’re grateful for the foundation that our patrons provide to help for us in our mission of serving students, MTSU and state and local communities. And we have an active and dynamic leadership committee who are excited about this event, the school and our students.”
MTSU’s “Evening of Swing” organizing committee members include Liz Rhea, Shirley LaRoche, Jane Blakey, Martha Curl, Bobbie and John Duke, Brenda McFarlin, Margie Spangler, Hannah Witherspoon, Veronica Milnar, Linda Palmer, Robbie Hooper and Aimee Holt. In addition to Riordan and Simmons, MTSU representatives on the committee are Connie Huddleston, Beth Duffield, Andrea Dawson, Deanna Little and Claudette Northcutt.
Riordan said those who’d like to polish their moves or learn the basics before the “Evening of Swing” can join a free group swing-dance lesson on Thursday, Nov. 8, from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m., led by Becky and Justin Ward at the Dance Murfreesboro studio.
Dance Murfreesboro is located at 730-A Middle Tennessee Blvd., Suite 14, just behind Harris Electric at the Park Avenue traffic light.
For more information on “Evening of Swing” or the Friends of Music, including ticket inquiries, please contact Northcutt at 615-898-5924.