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'Under the Big Top' scheduled

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls!

The Community Theater of Clay County will proudly present "Under the Big Top -- Sounds of the Circus!" dinner and entertainment on Friday, Jan. 23, and Saturday, Jan. 24.

Appearing as the Barnum and Bailey circus band circa 1909, when it was conducted by the "Indiana March King" Fred Jewell, a 24-piece ensemble of musicians from the Brazil Concert Band and Jackson Township Community Band will thrill one and all with authentic sounds.

From his vast collection of American circus music, band director Matthew S. Huber has fashioned a showcase performance of the very best of its kind, including waltzes, trombone smears, serenades, gallops, rags, marches and even an overture. Huber will provide interesting narrative about the compositions, circus life and the composers.

Circus bands of the early 20th century provided patrons with a full concert of music prior to the actual circus each day. Windjammers, as circus musicians were called, led a demanding life with up to three circus performances a day, the concerts, parades and sideshows.

Many also doubled as teachers for the children of the performers or worked in the administrative offices and in publicity.

The biggest circuses, Barnum and Bailey, Sells-Floto and Ringling Brothers, all sported sensational concert bands staffed by many of the band musicians of the day, including Jewell, Karl L. King, Merle Evans, Russell Alexander, W.P. English, Charles Duble and Henry Fillmore.

The CTCC circus band features authentic instrumentation, including piccolo players Janelle Huber, Jean Peny and Rhonda Hine, clarinets Ralph Stewart, John Penry, Bill Morthland and Cathy Thompson, cornetists Dr. Martin Dixon, Dick Gustafson, Andy Whittington, Steven Garlits and Jeff Shively, horn players Dr. Miranda Goodale, Betty Niswonger-Green and Darlene Shepard, euphonium player John Philiip Huber, trombonists Brad Ogborn, Scott Miller, Neil Rissler, Jim Stout and Buz Burgess, tuba players Chief Wayne Parkins and Harold Ellshoff, and percussionists Jim Pell, Susan Sneddon and T.J. Sneddon.

The 90-minute extravaganza will also feature veteran CTCC actor Carl McKinney as the ringmaster during the evening's finale.

As always, the cTCC will provide dinner, planned by Susan Sneddon, with piano music by Rita Rothrock prior to the performance.

Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m., each night, and tickets may be purchased at Riddell National Bank or by calling Lisa Beyers at 442-6909.



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