Canadian orchestra performs in Selma

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

For 62 years, they’ve been bringing acts to Selma – not just to entertain, but to enrich Selma’s musical culture.

On Tuesday, the Selma Community Concert Association (SCCA) presented the Guy Lombardo Royal Canadian Orchestra to the Queen City. The concert was held 7:30 p.m. at the Pickard Auditorium with Ty Lemley of Las Vegas directing.

Email newsletter signup

Before the start of the concert, the SCCA presented Doris Holland, president, with an armful of deep red roses for all of her hard work and dedication.

“I was (surprised),” Holland said. “It was really nice.”

If one closed their eyes while the band played, the atmosphere may have seemed to be that of a grand ballroom full of people wearing tuxedos and ball gowns. The percussion was perfectly in time and the audience nodded as “Ain’t She Sweet” filled the room and the 1936 hit “Goody Goody” brought about some toe taps.

Before intermission, the orchestra played “Enjoy Yourself.” The song encourages listeners to stop and smell the roses before it’s too late:

“How far can you travel when you’re six feet underground? The years go by as quickly as a wink. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy yourself. It’s later than you think.”

Members of the orchestra played in perfect harmony. The musicians were from all over Alabama – Birmingham, Hoover, Auburn and Tuscaloosa. Two were from Mississippi – Hattiesburg and Biloxi.

During intermission, members of the audience stretched their legs, mingled and purchased CDs.

Sitting in the middle of the auditorium was Kijani Tafari of Selma – formerly of Cincinnati, Ohio. A musician himself, Tafari, 22, said Holland had invited him a few hours before and he was enjoying the concert. Tafari teaches saxophone during and after-school program called F.A.M.E.

“I wish I could have brought one of them out tonight,” Tafari said of his students. “Any activity that brings quality arts to Selma is a good activity.”