Friday, September 22, 2017
Text Size

Founded in the mid-1990’s, the RGV Swing Street Big Band as it is now known, was called The Society for the Preservation of Big Band Music. Players from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois joined together and pooled music they brought from home for the band. Some members created crafted music stands from plywood and painted them white with the band name in blue on the front. Because their target was the Winter Texan audience, the season ran from mid-December to mid-March.

When Bob Comeau took over the band 2013, he made some major changes. The old music was donated to a service club so that the band selections could be upgraded. Music is now ordered from a gentleman in Grand Rapids, Mich. who owns a library of music with over 14,000 arrangements that can be emailed to the band.

20150101 Swing-Street-Big-Band-2014Today, the band plays music recorded by artists such as Benny Goodman, Les Brown, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Les Elgart, Harry James, Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, Henry Mancini, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, with a bit of the Beatles, Blood, Sweat and Tears and Chicago thrown in for good measure.

Comeau has a degree in music from the University of South Dakota where he taught band in South Dakota and Minnesota for five years before pursuing a career in insurance. But he never lost his love for music, and while living in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, he performed with Swing Beat Big Band and the Encore Wind Ensemble. In the Rio Grande Valley he also plays with the McAllen Symphonic Band and the Rio Grande Valley Concert Band. Back home in the summer he plays with local community bands.

In addition to Comeau there area seven other local band directors who teach in the Rio Grande Valley and seven retired band directors, mostly Winter Texans, who also play in the band. The band also has two retired military musicians. All of these musicians and others who join them have a great appreciation for the “big band sound.”

According to Comeau, there are several types of fans that range from seasoned ballroom dancers to folks who just like to move around to the music. Then there are people who don’t dance but come to listen to the music because they like the big band sound. Most performances are done in a show/dance format where different selections of the band will be featured along with instrumental soloists and vocalists. The band plays a variety of slow and up-tempo music with beautiful waltzes and Latin rhythms sprinkled through the concert.

Swing Street Big Band can be seen Thursday, Jan. 8 at Victoria Palms Resort; Sat., Feb. 7 at Cottonwood Country Club; Friday, Feb. 20 at Mission Bell Ballroom; Friday, Mar. 13 at Park Place Estates; and Friday, Mar. 20 at Bentsen Grove Resort. All performance times are 7 p.m.

Swing Street will also perform as part of the Lion’s Club Benefit Concert Feb. 6 at Trinity Worship Center, along with the Rio Grande Valley Concert Band and the Senior Ambassadors. Tickets are $7 and may be purchased at the Winter Texan Times, Alamo Rose RV or from any member of the Mission Lions Club. Proceeds of the Lions concert go to the Texas Lions Camp for handicapped children.

For information about Swing Street Big Band contact Bob Comeau at (763) 360-9065 or email swingstreetrgv@gmail.com.

Top News

  • Thousands enjoy Progreso Tourist Appreciation Day

    20170321 TOURIST DAY Progreso Moering IMG 6637Smiles, laughter and some final souvenir gathering were apparent throughout the Winter Tourist Appreciation Day March 21 in Nuevo Progreso, Mexico.

    With sunny, balmy weather, organizers were thinking the 41st annual event might have drawn as many as 50,000 Winter Texans from across the border, which was also marked… Read More +

  • Rio Grande Valley has first class entertainment

    Winter Texans love to be entertained and there are enough entertainment venues that one could go to a different event every day of the month.

    Today, many of the entertainers come from Branson and Nashville. This movement started many years ago but has gained momentum in recent years when Branson entertainers like Gordy and Debbie learned about the Rio Grande… Read More +

  • Martin & Monroe entertain the Valley

    For two years in a row the Martin & Monroe show won the National Rising Star Award for the best Frank Sinatra/Dean Martin Tribute Band. The show sold out everywhere including the Sinatra Showroom at Lake Tahoe’s Cal-Nevada Resort.

    Bob Caudie and his wife, Sherri-Lynn, who in her own right is a premier Marilyn tribute artist, have recently moved to… Read More +

  • McAllen Symphonic Band plans classical concert

    The McAllen Symphonic Band will present its last concert of the season on April 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cooper Center Auditorium at South Texas College, 3200 W. Pecan Blvd. in McAllen.

    It will be a presentation of classical music. The first piece will be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Serenade No. 10 K 361, the so-called “Gran Partita.” This piece… Read More +

  • Why the Rio Grande Valley?

    welcome partyClimate, friendly people, social activities appeal to Winter Texans

    In local Hispanic lore there is a saying to the effect that, “Once you drink the water of the Rio Grande, you can leave, but you will always come back again!” This seems to be true for… Read More +

  • Edinburg World Birding Center announces April programs

    Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center (EWBC) is offering a variety of programs for families and adults this April. The month kicks off with several fun and educational activities introducing the Purple Martin. There are also educational presentations on how to identify animals from their droppings. 

    Read More +
  • UVAL plans UTRGV juried art exhibition

    The Upper Valley Art League is hosting the 11th Annual UTRGV School of Art Juried Exhibition. It will open with a reception on Saturday, April 8 from 7-9 p.m. at the Kika de la Garza Fine Arts Center, 921 E. 12th St. in Mission. The exhibition will feature the work of students from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.   

    Read More +
  • Winter Texans wanted to help with Edinburg Bird-a-thon

    It’s time for the 5th Annual Edinburg Bird-a-Thon and the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center wants Winter Texans to help count migrating birds. This event runs from April 1 to May 1 and everybody can participate.

    This family-friendly competition is a great way to start and learn about the migrating species that are making… Read More +

  • March 23, 2017 - Valley Calendar

    March 24-26 – Camille Playhouse presents “9 to 5” a musical. Tickets are $20. Showtimes are: Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m., Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. Call 956-542-8900 for information. Order tickets online at www.camilleplayhouse.net.

    March 25 – Read More +

  • Texas Onion Fest returns to Weslaco Saturday

    20170323 OnionBlossom2a 2The 28th Annual Texas Onion Fest is scheduled for Saturday, March 25, from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. The festival will be held at Mayor Pablo G. Pena City Park located at 300 N. Airport, Weslaco.  Texas Onion Fest celebrates the development of the world famous Sweet Texas Onion in Weslaco at the Texas A&M University Extension Service. … Read More +

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • All
  • Border
  • Charity
  • Free Health Care
  • Groceries
  • Grocery Stores
  • HEB
  • Immigration
  • Mission
  • Operation Lonestar
  • Ribbon Cutting
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Sharyland
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
load more hold SHIFT key to load all load all

Login