RANCHO SANTA FE — About 270 music lovers jammed into the Village Church in Rancho Santa Fe for an evening of Big Band music on Dec. 12.
This was the 11th year for the event, but the first time it was held at the church.
“The church has just been so wonderful to work with and it provides room for more of the town,” said Marie Addario, vocalist for the band and event coordinator.
She said because of the additional room, organizers were able to reduce the price of tickets.
The atmosphere was “Pops-style,” with participants bringing their own favorite beverages and snacks to enjoy during the performance.
“We provide everything else,” Addario said of the linens, wine openers and decorations.
Jack Baca, the church pastor, welcomed guests along with Jeanne Wheaton, who helped check them in.
The Rancho Santa Fe Big Band was founded about 10 years ago by Rancho Santa Fe residents Dr. Jack Wheaton and Dom and Marie Addario, he a renowned trumpeter and she a sparkling vocalist. This spring Wheaton was inducted into the California Alliance for Jazz Hall of Fame.
“This is an 18-piece swing band with musicians who come from all over the state,” she said.
They have gotten together six times in the past several months to rehearse together for the big night. They have held their rehearsals at the R. Roger Rowe School.
The first set were traditional favorites including, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “What a Wonderful World” and “Shangri La.”
After the intermission, the next set were Christmas songs like “Joy to the World,” Let it Snow” and “White Christmas.”
Some friends of the
band members who join
them when they can were taken with Rancho Santa Fe.
“The Christmas decorations in this town are extraordinary,” said Christine Stevens of Orange County.
“The tree at the Inn is fantastic. It’s like fireworks,” said Sue Gluma, also of Orange County.
The band usually puts on two concerts a year, one during the holiday season and one in the spring.
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