Highland Swing

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Ross-Shire Journal, April 27th 2007

Fortrose concert night resounds to Big Band Music
AT A concert in Fortrose Academy last Saturday evening entitled Big Band Music, a large and enthusiastic audience was entertained by Highland Swing and the Black Isle Singers.
This was quite a departure for the Black Isle Singers who would normally present a concert of choral music with perhaps one or two soloists, the choir singing pieces by classical, romantic, and contemporary composers.
This time however, the choir invited Highland Swing, an Inverness-based superb big band with saxophones, trombones, trumpets, string bass and drum kit, to share their concert with them. Perhaps they just wanted to let their hair down a bit and show their ever-faithful audience that they were just as capable in jazz and swing. And it proved to be so.
But there was more to it than that, it was a fundraising event in aid of the Highland Heart Nurse Appeal. And as said above, everyone had a whale of a time. Highland Swing under the direction of John Sharkey opened the programme with a stirring version of In the Mood, and followed with American Patrol and ended the first part of the show with the famous Tuxedo Junction.
The Black Isle Singers joined the band along the way with It Don't Mean A Thing, Moonlight Serenade, and brought in soloist Julie Keen for The Very Thought Of You and The Lady Is A Tramp.
A "specially selected" group from the choir; Cora Grant, Diane Brawn, Alison Callanah, Tom Heath and Andrew Bruce sang in beautiful close harmony All the Things You Are, and with the other soloist of the evening, Liz McLardy, presented us with a superbly sultry version of Moonglow.
The choir also sang some foot-tapping jazzy numbers accompanied by their musical director Anne "Hot-Momma" McIntyre. This is her new name following her stylish jazzy keyboard accompaniments, which brought well deserved appreciation from the audience and the band!
Liz McLardy also sang some solo numbers with the band, Big Spender and The Man I Love. Liz is well known for jazz-style singing, and these were greatly enjoyed.
There were many other items to enjoy, and after the interval, the band let loose with some of the great numbers from their repertoire.
It is worth knowing that this band welcomes anyone who can play an appropriate instrument. The choir too is on the lookout for new members. This was a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable musical concert, with all the great numbers from the 50s and 60s, and a very worthwhile venture for a worthy cause. AB