Gill Harris, pictured here in February 2017, and the Big Band Theory will present an evening of music and dance at Trotter Convention Center in Columbus Feb. 9. Photo by: Dispatch file photo
January 27, 2018 10:17:53 PM
Gill Harris of Columbus and a host of professional musicians will resurrect the Big Band era at Trotter Convention Center in Columbus.
An evening with Harris and the Big Band Theory begins at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9. The audience can anticipate a repertoire influenced by iconic band leaders like Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, Count Basie and Stan Kenton.
"This is outstanding talent we bring in," Harris said of the orchestra. "These are top musicians in the land. These are guys who hold Ph.Ds in music, teach music or play coast to coast for name performers. This is the cream of the crop."
Vocalists Denise Reid and Roger Burlingame of Columbus are also featured in the concert that encourages audience members to take advantage of an expansive dance floor.
"You can come and dance, or you can come and just enjoy the music," Harris encouraged.
The annual night of Big Band has been a passion for decades for Harris, who began playing trumpet as a teenager in his school band and went on to play in the Army Band in Atlanta. He studied civil engineering and moved to Columbus in 1962 to join Ceco Building Systems as the firm's director of engineering. Many of the arrangements or charts for the classic big band numbers he treasures were discovered in music stores he visited while traveling for business.
"I had the pleasure of knowing guys like Harry James, who was a great inspiration, and Woody Herman," he said. "Most of what I learned, I learned from Stan Kenton who was a great musician and a terrific guy."
How to go
Concert tickets (table seating) are $40, or $45 at the door. Tables for up to 10 people, reserved in advance, are $320. Payment by cash or check is accepted. Checks should be made payable to Big Band Theory. Tickets may be purchased at the Columbus Arts Council's Rosenzweig Arts Center, 501 Main St., Columbus. Call 662-328-2787 for more information (closed Mondays).
Soft drinks, ice and set-ups will be available at a cash bar on the night of the concert.
The event is made possible, in part, by Ceco Building Systems, Robert's Apothecary Ltd., Trustmark, CableOne, Century 21/Roger Burlingame, Doris Hardy, State Farm/Denise Good, and Financial Works.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.