Music is in the air as the BIG ARTS Concert Band gears up for their annual spring concert. This year’s concert, which takes place on March 21 in BIG ARTS Christensen Performance Hall, promises to be the best yet. The Band members, who are part of the Southwest Florida community, will display their talents with a concert full of classic and contemporary favorites audiences are sure to enjoy.

“We love having the Concert Band perform with us every spring,” said Executive Director Lee Ellen Harder. “We have so many wonderfully talented individuals in our community, it’s an honor to have them on the BIG ARTS stage. Supporting arts in the community is at the core of the BIG ARTS mission, and I can’t think of better way to support that mission than a night of music performed by our friends and neighbors.”

The folks at BIG ARTS aren’t the only ones excited about this year’s show. Mike Lamade, who is in his seventh year as Band Director, is particularly enthusiastic about this year’s program, as he feels there is really something for everyone to enjoy. “I’ve programmed a few really neat pieces not often heard,” he said. “One is a new arrangement of the Von Suppé ‘Light Calvary Overture’ written for his operetta in 1866.  One of band literature’s ‘old war horses,’ it opens with brilliant trumpet calls of the Austro-Hungarian Army.  You can almost picture a cavalry charge!”

While the program contains many classic concert band pieces, there are plenty of fun and contemporary favorites for audiences to enjoy. Said Lamade, “A few other unique pieces we’re performing are ‘The Easy Winners Rag’ by Scott Joplin, the ‘King of Ragtime,’ whose most famous work was ‘The Entertainer’ from the movie ‘The Sting.’  This piece is for woodwinds, piano, and percussion only; no brass. We will also feature a clarinet ensemble playing Henry Mancini’s ‘Pie in the Face Polka’ from the 1975 movie, ‘The Great Race.’  These, along with traditional marches, vocal and instrumental solos, and a great rock & roll medley, should make for an enjoyable evening for all – including the band!”

The spring concert also marks the first full performance by the BIG ARTS Concert Band in the new state-of-the-art Christensen Performance Hall. “We had a sample of the new hall back in January during the Community Open House, and the early reports from the band members were that the acoustics are great!” said Mike. “They are especially pleased with the much bigger stage and the improved lighting and sound system. Folks should come out to the concert on the 21st, not only for the great music, but also to see the beautiful new building.”

The BIG ARTS Concert Band will be performing at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, in Christensen Performance Hall. BIG ARTS is located at 900 Dunlop Road. Tickets to the concert are $12, and there is no charge for children and students. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the box office at 239-395-0900 or visit

The BIG ARTS Concert Band is sponsored by the Sanibel Captiva Trust Company.

BIG ARTS, established in 1979, is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing quality artistic, cultural and educational experiences to Sanibel and Captiva residents and visitors.