Big Band Experience


This was Tuesday night at the AAAA Theatre.  It was like the cream filling in an oreo cookie, as it was bracketed on both weekends by “A Christmas Story.”  When we entered the seating area, my first thought was – uffda, I would not have enjoyed bringing in all that equipment in 30-below wind chill weather!  But the boys are from the music capital of the world – St. Cloud, Minnesota (think also on this blog Lisa Lynn and Harper’s Chord) – so there was nary a single mention of the weather during the entire performance.

It looked like a truly BIG band was going to be performing.  The stage was full of all manner of equipment and paraphernalia necessary for a such a performance.  And they had to work it in around the exisiting set of “A Christmas Story,” covering it up as best they could.  Ultimately, the band included two brass, two reeds, a drummer, a stand-up bass, and a piano player, with Shaun as the vocalist and emcee.

BBE “What’ll I Do”:

We couldn’t shoot photos or videos, obviously, so I’ve selected some YouTubers just for you!  This was probably the fourth time we’ve seen Shaun, a couple with his a cappella group, Tonic Sol-fa.  The Boy Tenor first promoted the group to us – as you recall, of course, the Boy Tenor’s version of “What’ll I Do” is the supervisor’s favorite.  So, we begin above with BBE’s (Big Band Experience), in the studio.

BBE’s available videos are all in the studio, so you can’t get a flavor of their live performances, which are incredibly energetic. So, here’s Tonic Sol-fa with a live Christmas video:

Tonic Sol-fa Christmas:

And the rest are of BBE in the studio:

BBE “On Top of The World”:

BBE “One For My Baby”:

BBE “Stay”:

BBE “The Birth of the Blues”:

BBE “Hallelujah”:


When I mentioned the large amount of equipment on stage at the beginning, it included two drum sets?  Well, that should have given us a clue.  The Alex High School Jazz Combo performed as the opening act.  Some of these kids you’ve seen before, including Kirby Karpen on bass, Paul Meland on sax, and Spencer Brand on drums (sorry, I did not know the piano player).  Here are some photos from when Kirby and Paul performed with Adam Astrup at SAWA a little over a month ago and a video of the group from the school last year:


Jazz Combo “Straight No Chaser”:





 Up next:  Even more stuff!

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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3 Responses to Big Band Experience

  1. Jeff Meland says:

    Thanks for the post Tom!
    A couple corrections for you.
    The High School Jazz Combo Members are: Paul Meland (Tenor Sax), Kirby Carpan (Bass), Sam Carlson (Keyboards), and Jeffrey Gripentrog (Drums). Adam Astrup (Guitar) joins the group when he is in town. Spencer Brand has graduated and attends U of M, but he was in the high school jazz combo as drummer a couple years ago.
    Jeff Meland

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