Swing City, Delmarva’s Big Band, will be back in Chestertown’s Fountain Park this coming Saturday, September 7, at 3 pm for a special afternoon concert. The concert is free and open to the public.
This thirty-five member group has become a crowd favorite with its arrangements of popular standards and swing tunes in the style of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and other legends of the big band era. The band repertoire also includes big band arrangements of more contemporary tunes. This Saturday’s setlist will include several saxophone and trumpet solos as well as tunes such as “Getting Sentimental Over You,” “The Ides of Love, “God Bless the Child,” “Seranada,” and a special version of the song made famous by Frank Sinatra, “My Way.”
Swing City is certainly a living testimony to the abiding popularity of swing music. The group plays concerts all over the eastern U.S., with occasional ventures up to Canada.
Elmer Dill, the founder and director of Swing City, led his first band while still in high school. He attended the University of Delaware, where he played with the university’s stage band, the Delmodians. After college, he joined the U.S. Navy and played in bands all over the world.
Several other Swing City regulars share Dill’s military band background, and nearly a third are current or retired musical directors. Most of them live in the Delmarva area, though a few come from as far afield as western Maryland, Pennsylvania, or New Jersey. Members have ranged in age from students in their teens to musicians in their eighties.
Ann Morris, a favorite from previous Swing City concerts, returns as the band’s featured vocalist.
Note that this is an afternoon concert at 3:00 pm, not the usual Music in the Park evening concert.
This is a rescheduling of the August 3 concert which was postponed due to the weather. And, despite Hurricane Dorian, it looks like Saturday should be a fine day for music in Fountain Park in downtown Chestertown. If the weather forecast should change, check here in the Chestertown Spy for any cancelation notice. Any changes will also be sent to the Music in the Park email list. If you would like to add your name to the list to be notified of each concert, please send your name and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sept. 7 Music in the Park concert was supposed to be a double-header with both of the bands that were rained out, but the Chesapeake Brass Band ran into problems getting all their members together for Sept. 7. They also had a death of one of the older, long-time members and they are doing a big memorial service with music for him in Delaware the next day, Sunday, Sept 8. We will schedule the Chesapeake Brass Band for next summer.
The Chesapeake Brass Band is a traditional, British-style brass band that plays popular and patriotic songs. For more information, dates, and locations of other concerts, and to hear a sample of their music, see their website at http://www.chesapeakebrassband.org/
Be sure to come the following weekend, Thursday, Sept. 12 through Sunday, Sept. 15, for the Chestertown Jazz Festival held in nearby Wilmer Park on the Chester River in Chestertown. For more information, see the Chestertown Jazz Festival page on Facebook or for detailed information and advance ticket sales go to the jazz festival’s website or call 410-810-2060. All events for the Chestertown Jazz Festival in the park are rain or shine. No pets but lounge chairs are permitted.
The Swing City concert on Sat Sept. 7 will be the last of the scheduled 2019 summer Music in the Park Series. The summer series will start again in June 2020 after the National Music Festival in Chestertown in the first two weeks of June 2020.
The Music in the Park series brings a variety of musical experiences, including jazz, swing, bluegrass, klezmer, folk, gospel and more, to Kent County audiences since it began in the mid-1990s. The concerts are sponsored by the town of Chestertown with support from the Kent County Arts Council and many community contributors. To help make these free programs possible, send donations payable to the town of Chestertown and designated for “Music in the Park,” to 118 N. Cross St., Chestertown, MD 21620. Donations may also be made at the concert.