Tuesday, February 20, 2018
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Musicians perform favorite hits at Palm Shadows jam

20171208 Palm Shadows Jam Dean Schilling GU IMG 0925

Dean Schilling (trumpet)

The Friday night jams held weekly at Palm Shadows RV park in Donna at 7 p.m. offer a mixture of big band, easy listening music, and rock and roll. The night we attended, the band had trumpets, clarinets, guitars, saxophones, an accordion, keyboards and even a tuba.

Among those participating in the jam were Don Prichard on guitar, Gerry Rutherford and Dean Schilling on trumpet, Frank Pelcher on accordion, Dennis Schewerbert on tuba and guitar, Ted Begeman on guitar. Roger Steiger and Del Puschert played sax. Eloise Rutherford and Claudette Schafer played keyboard while Deanna Nelson and Ann Butler were vocalists.

Old songs like “It Must Have Been Moon Glow,” “Let It Be Me,” “I Gave My Heart to You,” and “Deep Purple” kept the audience in a nostalgic mood.

20171208 Palm Shadows Jam Dennis Schewerbert GU IMG 1009

Dennis Schewerbert on tuba

Dean Schilling played a moving old favorite, “Unchained Melody.” And Del Puschert changed the mood entirely with a rousing edition of “Yakkety Sax” that brought him applause from the audience.

Gerry Rutherford started the second session with another spirited old favorite, “Put Your Hand in the Hand of the Man Who Stilled the Waters.” Ann Butler sang “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” Don Pritchard roused the audience with “Shake, Rattle and Roll” while Frank Pelcher played “Marie” on accordion.

Dennis Schewerbert played a lively tuba rendition of “Ain’t She Sweet?” Dean Schilling played “Can I Have This dance?” on trumpet.

Eloise Rutherford played a lively “Piano Roll Blues” on keyboard. Deanne Nelson performed “As Time Goes By” while Ted Begeman played “Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby.”

20171208 Palm Shadows Jam Frank Pelcher GU IMG 0965

Frank Pelcher on accordion

But the undisputed favorite of the second half came in the form of a request that Roger Steiger play “Danny Boy” on his soprano saxophone. The melodic sounds made by the soprano sax blended with the old Irish song and warmed the heart, brought applause from the audience who loved it.

The jam ended with a request for “Jingle Bell Rock” that had the ladies in the Santa hats dancing in their rows to the lively music.

The music was relaxing with just enough rock and roll to liven things up a bit. Check out one of their jams. Palm Shadows is located at 200 N. Val Verde Road in Donna.

Swinging the nights (and some days) away

20171122 Swing Street 4514Band leader Bob Comeau plays the alto sax during practice for the Swing Street Big Band. The band performs it's first show of the season from 3 to 5:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Texas Theater Ballroom, located at 115 E Newcombe Ave. in Pharr.

The Swing Street Band is on the road again, all throughout the Rio Grande Valley.

Started by Winter Texans, the band has evolved throughout the years and is currently made up mostly of active and retired music educators from around the Valley, plus a few Winter Texans. Consisting of five saxes, four trumpets, four trombones, piano, bass, drums, guitar and female vocalist, several of the musicians are actually directors of award-winning high school bands from the area and bring a wealth of the talent and experience to complete the full big band sound.

20171122 Swing Street 4528Dennis Lester performs on the drums during practice for the Swing Street Big Band.

The band plays music ranging from the early big band days of Glenn Miller's “In The Mood,” to the music that will bring you back to the days of your high school dances and sock hops.

Swing Street Band Schedule
Sun., Dec. 17, 3 - 4:30 p.m., Aladdin Villas, Mission (Christmas Show)
Sun., Dec. 31, NYE 8:30 to 12:30 p.m., Leisure Valley, Mission (Dance)
Sun., Jan. 7, 7-10 p.m., Victoria Palms, Donna (Dance)
Sat., Jan. 13, 8-11 p.m., Cottonwood Country Club, Harlingen (Dance)
Sun., Jan. 21, 3-5:30 p.m., Texas Theater Ballroom, Pharr (Dance)
Fri., Jan. 26, 7-10 p.m., Alamo Rose, Alamo (Dance)
Sat., Feb. 3, 7-10 p.m., Aladdin Villas, Mission (Dance)
20171122 Swing Street 4539Connie Crowell plays the sleigh bells during practice with the Swing Street Big Band. Crowell also sings with the 18-piece band that kicks of its season Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Texas Theater Ballroom.

Fri., Feb. 23, 7-10 p.m., Bentsen Grove, Mission (Dance)
Sun., Feb. 25, 3-5:30 p.m., Texas Theater Ballroom, Pharr (Dance)
Sat., March 3, 7-10 p.m., Aladdin Villas, Mission (Dance)
Tue., March 6, 7-10 p.m., Fun “N Sun, San Benito (Dance)
Sun., March 11, 3-5:30 p.m., Texas Theater Ballroom, Pharr (Dance)

‘Barefoot in the Park’ rescheduled at Harlingen Community Theatre

Harlingen Community Theatre has rescheduled performances of Neil Simon's “Barefoot in the Park.” Due to lighting problems, last week’s shows have been rescheduled for Dec, 14-17 at the theatre, located at 1209 Fair Park Blvd. in Harlingen.

The theatre's stage lighting system suffered major electrical problems and had stopped working. Repairs were being made earlier in the week and the show had been rescheduled for this weekend, Thursday through Sunday.

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Wind Ensemble sharing Christmas spirit with music

20171214 McAllen Wind Ensemble 8089The McAllen Wind Ensemble has a goal – to put you in the jovial, joy-filled Christmas spirit. And their plan is to do it with Christmas Carol sing-a-longs.

Not a bad plan, is it.

The Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Mcallen Performing Arts Center, celebrating the magic and wonder of the holiday season with “Let Christmas Ring.”

Tickets are $8, $10, $15 and $25 and are available at the McAllen Convention Center Box Office, ticketmaster.com, and at the door the night of the concert.

For more information call (956) 681-3800 or email tickets@mcallentownband.org.

The Wind Ensemble is part of the McAllen Town Band, which has been chartered since 1974 by the City of McAllen.

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Brett Marshall & Friends Benefit Christmas Concert moves to Port Isabel with retro theme

20171207 Laurin two photosPopular Valley musician Brett Marshall will head up a fun, retro-themed Christmas concert on Dec. 17 at 4 p.m. followed by a second performance of the same concert at 7:30 p.m. This year, the event will be held at Fishers of Men Lutheran Church, located at 603 S. Tarnava Street in Port Isabel. 

With a $10 minimum contribution per ticket, the concert proceeds will benefit the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust, which assists disabled McAllen dancer Laurin Huber with her ongoing medical care expenses. Two years ago, the concert raised around $8000 for Miss Huber.

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Pianist Dzmitry Ulasiuk featured at VSO Chamber Concert

20171130 VSO Pianist Dzmitry UliasiukThe Valley Symphony Orchestra begins their Chamber Concert Series with A Chopin Affair, featuring pianist, Dzmitry Ulasiuk on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at the Sky Tower Club located inside the 17th floor of the Chase Neuhaus Tower in McAllen. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a wine and heavy hor d’oeuvres reception followed by the evening’s performance starting promptly at 7:30 p.m.

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‘A Tejano Christmas Carol’ returns to Pharr Community Theater

20171130 ATCC psa pic 3

Danika Leal returns this year as Tiny Tina in “A Tejano Christmas Carol” playing Dec. 6-10 at the Pharr Community Theater.

The Pharr Community Theater will present the play “A Tejano Christmas Carol” for a second year. 

Pedro Garcia, CEO and artistic director has been directing the theater company for the past 10 years and also plays the role of Mr. Codos, the equivalent to Charles Dickens' “Scrooge.”  Many of last year’s cast are returning, including Danika Leal as Tiny Tina,  Adan Rodriguez as Beto Gonzalez, Joel Gutierrez as Martinez, doubling as the Ghost of Christmas Future, and Armandina Sesin as Adelita, the Ghost of Christmas Present.

“Our Christmas play has a modern day Rio Grande twist and, of course, all the intrigue of Dickens' original Christmas story, including the three ghosts, the children and their families and the battle between good and bad and an outcome that surprises everyone,” Garcia said.

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