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Big Band Era Concert to Include Virtual
Tour of New World War II Memorial

RELEASED: Oct. 7, 2005

Big Band posterEAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire department of music and theatre arts will present "A Salute to the Big Band Era: 60th Anniversary Tribute, 1945-2005" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, and 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, in Zorn Arena.

This year's event will bring to conclusion a two-year tribute that was part of the 60th anniversary commemorating the end of World War II in Europe and the Pacific. It is dedicated to veterans of World War II, as well as all workers, volunteers and their families, whose sacrifices during that time helped keep the United States free. They are especially invited to attend, along with all Big Band lovers, alumni and friends of UW-Eau Claire.

This special evening or afternoon of music and dancing will include a virtual tour of the new World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. The memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the United States during the war, the more than 400,000 who died, and the millions who supported the war effort at home. The tour will be repeated on two large screens during a pre-concert social hour, and an abbreviated tour will take place when veterans and current members of the U.S. Armed Forces, living and deceased, are recognized as their hymns/anthems are performed.

Both performances will include the pre-concert social hour, from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. for the Friday evening performance and from 11:45 to 12:45 p.m. for the Saturday matinee. Refreshments — cheese and crackers, fruit, various dessert items, and wine, beer, soda or bottled water — will be sold canteen style both before and during the performances.

Prior to arriving at Zorn Arena, or following the evening concert until 10:30 p.m., patrons also are invited to view the Japanese Garden in the Schofield Hall courtyard, which was refurbished with funds contributed by a group of UW-Eau Claire alumni/World War II veterans following a 1996 reunion. The project symbolized the restoration of peace and the rebuilding of international relations after the war. Special lighting will illuminate the garden from Oct. 10 through Oct. 21. All are invited to pause at the garden for a moment of reflection to honor and remember all members of the armed forces, past and present.

UW-Eau Claire's award-winning Jazz Ensembles I and II, under the direction of Robert Baca, will provide the salute and the swing, performing music popular between 1928 and 1948, a time Baca refers to as "one of the most memorable musical eras in American history." A variety of Glenn Miller tunes will be featured, including "Tuxedo Junction" and "Moonlight Serenade," and songs like "Let's Dance," "Fly Me to the Moon," "Tenderly," "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" and "Sing, Sing, Sing" will give dancers plenty of opportunities to both jump and jive and slow dance. Included are special requests by patrons from past events.

Proceeds from "A Salute to the Big Band Era" will provide support for activities in the jazz studies area. UW-Eau Claire's jazz ensembles have earned numerous awards over the years and have produced 11 CDs. Five have won Down Beat magazine's "Best College Big Band" award and two were nominated for Grammy Awards. About 100 students currently participate in the jazz studies area.

"The Eau Claire community and culture is the foundation for the national success the jazz studies area has achieved," said Baca. "It is our honor and privilege to give back this musical gift to the community to which we belong."

Senior Mark Lundin, Blaine, Minn., has been serving as the event coordinator for the Big Band Era Concert. He is majoring in mass communication, with a minor in music.

Tickets are $15 for the general public; $12 for those 62 and over, youth 17 and under and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff; $11 per person for organized groups of 10 or more; and $10 for UW-Eau Claire and UW System students. Tickets went on sale Aug. 22 at the University Service Center in Davies Center. Call (715) 836-3727 or (800) 949-UWEC to request a brochure with more information and a ticket order form. Tickets can be charged by phone for an additional $3 fee. Patrons are requested to identify any special assistance needs when purchasing tickets.

Tickets also will be sold at the door as space allows.

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NW

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