SEQUIM — Tickets are on sale now for the Stardust Big Band’s performance at Olympic Theatre Arts Center in Sequim on Nov. 7.
The concert will be at 2 p.m. at the theater at 414 N. Sequim Ave.
Tickets to the Main Stage concert are $20 and are available at the theatre box office from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday or online at OlympicTheatreArts.org.
Founded in 1990, Stardust Big Band is known for its presentations of favorites from the Big Band Era of the 1930s and 1940s. Often playing for dancers, this time Stardust will be presenting some of its favorite arrangements in concert format.
Vocalist Tess Teel will sing several familiar standards, and the ensemble will present instrumental classics made famous by such greats as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich, Glenn Miller and Tom Kubis, as well as standards from the Great American Songbook.
Featured soloists will be Bill Cole, tenor sax; Ed Donahue, trumpet; Tim Naples, trombone; and George Radebaugh, piano.The musical director of the Stardust Big Band is Tom Guenther, who is also band director at Kingston High School.
Guenther graduated from the jazz studies program at Washington State University, where he studied under Greg Yasinitsky and played in the Jazz Big Band.
He is not only the leader of the band, but he also plays lead alto saxophone in the group.
Guenther began his tenure with Stardust in the spring when rehearsing restarted after a year of inactivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He commutes from Kingston each week to lead the band in rehearsal.
“I am thrilled to be part of the Stardust Big Band,” he said. “Jazz is a uniquely American art form, and it is exciting to be able to preserve and share that part of our history with audiences young and old.”
Two respected local educators are in the band.Vern Fosket, who recently retired after 28 years of directing the bands at Sequim High School, is spending at least part of his retired time as the bassist in Stardust. Ed Donahue, who was band director for decades at Stevens Middle School in Port Angeles, is the “first call” trumpet player in the region.
He will play jazz solos as occupier of the “jazz chair” in the Stardust trumpet section.
“Music is my life and soul,” Donahue said. “I believe in preserving this style of music alive and well. The Stardust Big Band is doing just that. I really enjoy the camaraderie of this exciting band and am happy to be a part of it.”
Other members of the Stardust Big Band are saxophones — Bill Cole, tenor sax; John Adams, alto and soprano sax; Andy Geiger, tenor sax; Al Thompson, baritone sax; trombones — Jeff Dingle, Wayne Paulsen, Tim Maples and Cliff Brown; trumpets — Phil Lepper, Marge Rosen and Doug Brundage; rhythm — George Radebaugh on keyboard and Steve Burdick on drums.