|Compton Heights Concert Band|
The Compton Heights Concert Band of St. Louis presents exciting, old-fashioned Sousa-style band concerts with world-class guest artists.
The main season is a summer outdoor concert series starting with Memorial Day and continuing with Sunday Serenades & Musical Mondays. In December, the Band performs an annual Holiday Pops Spectacular. This year it will be at the Skip Viragh Center for the Arts. See HolidayFlyer 2017. In 2013 the Band presented a series of indoor concerts "Sousa Sundays" at the Purser Auditorium. Last year marked the 18th Annual Holiday Pops Spectacular at Powell Hall! It was also the 40th Anniversary of the Compton Heights Concert Band! The Band is pictured at right in Tower Grove Park. (Photo by L.T.Spence, Post-Dispatch)
Featured ensembles as guest artists: Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers, Butchwax & the Hollywoods with Billy Peek, Red Lehr & the St. Louis Rivermen, Those Darn Accordions, Stoneback Sisters & Stoneback Brass, the East St. Louis Jazz Ensemble, Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, The Legend Singers, The ReBirth Brass Band!, PROJECT Trio!, Canadian Brass; Sukay, Music of the Andes; Clarion Brass, Holiday Saxes, Buckwheat Zydeco, and the Carl & Mason T. Capps.
Featured soloists have included David Morris, The World's Top Whistler, Hugh Kash Smith, Nicole Cabell, Gina Galati, Sigrun Hjalmtysdottir, Gail & Bill Lennon, Mike Cathcart, Beverly Stewart-Anderson, Johnnie Johnson, and Robert Ellison. To see Robert Ellison with the Band in December 2016, see Robert Ellison "God Bless the USA". Many instrumental soloists have appeared such as trumpeters Arturo Sandoval and Doc Severensen; pianists, Peter Nero, Lindsay Garritson, and Marjorie Vincent; marimba artist Debbye Turner-Bell; oboist, Alex Klein; clarinetist, Ricardo Morales; and many more. The Compton Heights Band has also featured unusual instruments including the theremin (Dr. Robert Froehner), glass armonica (Carolinn Skyler) and organ with Cameron Carpenter. The Band has collaborated with several choirs, including The Gospel Symphonic Choir with Dello Thedford, the Legend Singers, East Central College Choir, the Metro Singers, and St. Louis County Community Choir. There's always something exciting to hear each year.
The Band rehearses year-round in the former Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at Lafayette & Longfellow. See Built St. Louis for photos of this beautiful facility.
The Compton Heights Band is on Facebook.
Kitty Swanger administrates the Band's Facebook page. To see Kitty in "Kitty's Kitchen" see Sweat & Sour MeatBalls
Video clips from the Band's 2016 Holiday concert at Powell Hall:
Hugh Smith and East Central College Combined Choirs in Ode to Joy 2016
Gina Galati in Ave Maria 2016
Bob Ellison, Baritone, in God Bless the USA 2016
The Band is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization.
The Band was founded in 1976 by Harry Swanger, President and Bassoonist. The Band is conducted by professional conductor Edward Dolbashian. The original conductor was Kaid Friedel who was a French Hornist in the St. Louis Symphony for many years.
The Band appeared on its own TV show "Sunrise Serenades" which aired for a year on KMOV-TV, CBS Affiliate with Harry Swanger and the band mascot, Moosic! For a segment from that show featuring the late Johnnie Johnson, see "Sunrise Serenades" on YouTube. The band concert experience has been expressed to the public through music, words, and even by a plein air painter, BillyO . To read a vivid description of a summer concert, see The Sounds of Summer, written by Robert E. Knittel.
The Riverfront Times named Compton Heights Concert Band - Best Entertainment Value on a Hot Summer Evening.
Jim Sparks, Photographer