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Big Band show coming Sunday to Centene Center

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Premier music educators from colleges and universities in Missouri and Illinois will bring big band sounds to Centene Center on Sunday afternoon.

The Big Band Christmas Celebration features Dave Dickey Big Band and many special guests, including local singers Paula Michelle Franks and Terri Ann Pankhurst. A special performance will also be given by the North County High School Jazz Ensemble and a youth combo will perform before the show.

The show starts at 4 p.m. on Sunday, and admission is $12, with tickets available at the box office o 2 Black Knight Dr. in Farmington, available by phone at 573-756-0900. Tickets can also be gotten at Pizza 101 South, 101 S. Division St., Bonne Terre, and Corner Pocket, 1 W. School St., Bonne Terre.

Dave Dickey Big Band is an 18-piece professional jazz and big band featuring the top jazz musicians and educators from all over Missouri and parts of Illinois. College professors who play in this band teach at University of Missouri – St. Louis, Webster University, St. Louis University, Lindenwood University, Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, University of Missouri, Missouri State University, and University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.

Dickey is regionally well-known as an educator, bandleader, trombonist, pianist, and former president of Missouri Association for Jazz Education. Frequently a guest clinician or guest soloist with middle school, high school, and college bands across the Midwest, he’s made many visits to area high schools over the years, including North County High School and Farmington High School jazz bands and festivals. More information about the band can be found at

“We’re excited about our Big Band Christmas Celebration on Sunday,” Dickey said. “This will be a fun and high-energy Christmas concert, and we have quite a few high-caliber performers.”

Musical guests include: Joey Tartell on lead trumpet (Indiana University professor from Bloomington); Pat Harbison on trumpet (Indiana University professor from Bloomington); Tito Carrillo on trumpet (University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana); Joseph Jefferson (Director of Jazz and trombone professor at Southeast Missouri State University); Paul Michelle Franks and Terri Ann Pankhurst (both popular vocal soloists from the area); and North County High School Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Dobie Carroll.

“North County High School Jazz Ensemble is a big band that will be performing during intermission. After intermission, students from North County will be sitting in and soloing with the Dave Dickey Big Band,” Dickey said. “This is the part of the concert I really love, giving students a great opportunity to sit in and listen to professionals.

“As a music educator (for Jennings School District and UMSL), and with so many of us being educators, the students get to meet these musicians and build a relationship with them. everal of them talk with the college professors and get recruited to their universities.”

Sponsors for the Big Band Christmas Celebration include Boyer Funeral Home, Hub’s Pub & Grill, Pettus Automotive, Shelter Insurance Hagerty Family, Unico Bank, John Moore Funeral Home, First State Community Bank, Corner Pocket, Pizza 101, and Inn St. Gemme Beauvais.

“We are hoping for a large crowd or sell-out that night on December 19,” he said. “We’d like to come back in the spring to do a swing dance night featuring the music of Count Basie and including dancers with my band,” he said. “I’m envisioning there would also be room for the audience to swing dance.”

Sarah Haas is the assistant editor for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-518-3617 or at


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