Thursday, June 19, 2008

Come dancing...

Ladies and gentlemen, swing is back!

Last month, we joined our friends for USOswego at the Oswego Elk’s Club. Just wrapping up its second season, this monthly event is sponsored by the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) and features The Do Good Swing Band. These two groups first came together in September 2006 to re-create the USO Canteens of the World War II era.

The Do Good Swing Band is a 17-piece ensemble that includes bandleader Don Goodness on lead trumpet along with many celebrated musicians from throughout Central New York. Playing time-honored music and wearing traditional tuxedoes, this ‘Big Band’ evokes a sense of nostalgia; taking you back to the glamour of the 1930s and 40s.

They cover the “greats” from Glen Miller to Frank Sinatra. You’ll hear many old standards, including the jumping jive of ‘In the Mood’ and the traditional lover’s anthem, ‘Moonlight Serenade’. Also in the mix was my personal favorite, Henry Mancini’s ‘Moon River’. (A note for the younger crowd: if you are unfamiliar with the names and titles, you need only hear a few beats to recognize many of these great tunes.)

USOswego is the quintessential “night-out-on-the-town”; complete with dinner, drinks and dancing. Dinner is optional and includes your choice of baked fish, roast beef and chicken parmigiana. A cash bar is available and offers a ‘Swing Dance’ special. For those who have yet to master the familiar dance steps, Howard Willis and Karen Scrafford (soon-to-be Willis) provide free dance lessons during the first hour. (A note for the singletons: you don’t need to bring your own dance partner to join in the fun!)

An ageless event, USOswego invites multiple generations to come together and visit the by-gone days of big band music and swing dancing. Come join us and revel in the fun and romance of the era!

If you’re looking for a great way to socialize, enjoy a good meal and take a few turns on the dance floor, come to USOswego at the Oswego Elk’s Club on the corner of West Fifth and Bridge Streets in Oswego. This event is held on the third Thursday of the month from September through June. Open from 6 to 9 p.m., it includes a free dance lesson from 5 to 6 p.m. Admission is $3 or $12 if you choose to have dinner. For details, meal choices or to make a reservation for dinner, call RSVP at 315-312-2317.


Friday, June 6, 2008

On another note...

Since last we met, there has been a flurry of activity in Oswego County!

We went to the Oswego Music Hall on Lake Street in Oswego and enjoyed the easy grooves of The Sim Redmond Band.

Overlooking Lake Ontario, the Music Hall offers a spectacular view of the setting sun. It has a great “coffee house” atmosphere and the volunteer staff is warm and welcoming. Candles and fresh flowers adorned the tables and homemade refreshments were available.

Attracting a diverse audience, The Sim Redmond Band played a smooth blend of folk rock, reggae and world music. The sound was entirely charming and organic. We were enchanted by their sweet vocal harmonies and the rhythmic beat of their drum jams.

The friendly and intimate mood of the Music Hall, coupled with the non-traditional sounds of the artists made for an enjoyable evening. It had the distinct feeling of being on a mini-break, despite the fact that we had never left home.

If you were not able to join us, the Oswego Music Hall is located in the Ontario Center for the Performing Arts (known locally as the McCrobie Building) on Lake Street in Oswego, New York. For more than 30 years, this all-volunteer organization has hosted an incredible line-up of artists in a wide variety of musical genres. Performances are scheduled every other Saturday night from September to June and reservations are suggested. For a list of upcoming shows or to make reservations, call 315-342-1733.