South Surrey big bands to take stage at South End Summit

South Surrey’s award-winning senior high school bands will team up for South End Summit 2, presented by Semiahmoo Arts

There’s nothing quite like the sound of a big band – even electronic acts with stacks of speakers can’t quite equal the synergy of 17 or more musicians working together at full momentum.

Big band fans have a special treat in store this Saturday (Jan. 14) when South Surrey’s award-winning senior high school bands will team up for South End Summit 2, presented by Semiahmoo Arts, at the Wheelhouse Theatre, Earl Marriott Secondary, 15751 16 Ave.

The Marriott band, led by Rodger Owens; the Elgin Park band, led by Rob Leeder and the   Semiahmoo Secondary band, led by Dave Fullerton, will demonstrate not only the classic big band swing style that developed in the ‘30s and ‘40s, but also the state of the art today – with material as up to date as big band transcriptions of Radiohead songs.

This writer will have the pleasure of introducing the bands and the evening’s special guest soloist, professional jazz trumpeter, bandleader and ethnomusicologist Malcolm Aiken.

“We thought it would be kind of fun to have work in with all the bands, so we’re going to have a jam session before the show in the lobby/cafeteria area, which will give him a chance to sit on some things,” said Fullerton, who notes that the show provides an opportunity for the young musicians of all three schools to get together and share ideas – and a love of big band jazz – in a non-competitive environment.

“All three of the directors are friends,” he said. “Rodger and I go back a long way; Rob played for several years  in a community jazz band I led and his daughter is in my band now.”

Tickets ($20, $15 for students, seniors and Semiahmoo Arts members) are available from Tapestry Music, or by calling 604-536-8333.