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Selma swings

As soon as the trumpets and horns belted out their first notes for the evening, the large audience at Pickard Auditorium was taken back to an era when big band swing music was a staple on the radio airwaves.

The Selma Community Concert Association began its opening night with the American Swing Orchestra performing a musical tribute to Benny Goodman, the famous band leader from the early 1930s and ’40s.

Conductor Clem DeRosa kept the crowd of a mostly older generation enthralled with all the songs performed that night. Gasps of excitement and cheers could be heard each time a favorite song title was announced during the show.

Though there were not any couples willing to show off some moves on the aisles of the auditorium, there were plenty of people tapping their feet to the music.

Throughout the evening, the orchestra played more than 20 popular songs from that long-ago era. Before each one, DeRosa gave a brief history of Goodman and his musical style.

The conductor also took some time to praise Selma and the warm welcome his band received.

Community Concert Association board president Doris Holland said she thought the American Swing Orchestra was very well received and was pleased with the evening’s attendance.

The next concert will be a musical comedy group called Route 66. This next event will take place several months from now, on Feb. 12, 2004, but tickets are on sale now through Concert Association board members or at the door.