SwingSations perform at a dance in the Colombo Hall pre-pandemic. Photo: Submitted

SwingSations perform at a dance in the Colombo Hall pre-pandemic. Photo: Submitted

Wanted: Singer, sax and trumpet player for Kootenay big band

SwingSationS big band conductor ready to get back on stage, but first he needs some new members

After two years of lights-off in the dance hall and bandstands folded up gathering dust, the long-time conductor of SwingSationS, Clark White, is yearning to get back on stage and once again bring big band sounds to fans in Greater Trail.

Prior to the pandemic, SwingSationS had been playing several dances a year in the Fruitvale hall. But due to provincial health laws, the last dance was held long ago — in March 2019.

Since then the world has changed, and SwingSationS has lost several musicians for a variety of reasons. The good news is a few members were able to recently return, ready to warm up their instruments and play.

Now, Clark White is looking for new members. Specifically he needs a female vocalist with a wide vocal range as some vocal charts require more than a two-octave range.

He’s also looking for an alto sax player and a trumpet player.

“All band members must be able to read music well and have a good understanding of rhythm patterns,” White said.

Rehearsals for SwingSationS are Sunday evenings from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the gym of St. Michael’s Catholic School in East Trail.

“All the band members miss the group and want to get up and running again — they are in the group primarily because they love to play the music,” White told the Trail Times. “The dances give us a focal point so that rehearsal attendance remains very high as we have to be able to do a really good job of playing all the tunes.”

White shares that during the bleak days of COVID restrictions, many locals approached him to ask if and when the SwingSationS would be performing again.

He adds, “Hopefully I will be able to give them a real answer soon!”

For those musicians interested in joining SwingSationS, contact Clark White at 250.367.6115 or via email: carlo_bianco@telus.net.

About the SwingSationS

The SwingSationS is a first-class dance band that plays the same music as the great dance bands, like Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Guy Lombardo, and Glenn Miller to name a few. Prior to the pandemic, several times a year this talented bunch of high-class musicians would strut their stuff and play the most inspiring music for an evening of dancing and listening pleasure.

This band was once known as the Novatones, and the name changed to SwingSationS under the leadership of band leader Clark White. Over the years they’ve performed for several affairs, such as the RCMP Regimental Ball, gigs at Chocolate Jazz and other special occasions. Their music includes a little something for everyone, with swing, jazz, rock, polkas, waltz, rhumbas, and tangos.

Many numbers include vocals, and in the past, band musicians have been known to set aside the brass to find their way to the microphone.

People have come from towns across the West Kootenay to enjoy a night out of music and dance with the SwingSations, and maybe raise a glass of vino or two.

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