Gospel Train Big Band
Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
The Salvation Army Gateway Church, 824 Union Road, St. Louis, MO | See Map | (314) 631-1133
There are a few sounds that put a smile on the face of all who hear. Among them are the sounds of children at play. This has been the happy noise at The Salvation Army for well over a century here in the St Louis area. Recreation, education, socialization and just plain fun have established schedules and curriculum that continue to shape the futures of young people involved in a variety of year-round programs and activities.
As we continue our bounce back from some economic hard-times, the need of a safe place for the kids of our communities is greater than ever and the resources are more limited than they have been in many years. So...The Salvation Army is presenting yet another of those smile-producing sounds.
The Big Band music of the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s blends the saxophones, trumpets, trombones, piano, guitar, and drums and the sound is amazing. The residents of this area will have the opportunity to enjoy the music of Tom Walker’s Gospel Train Big Band on Saturday, April 10th at 7:00 p.m. Take a look at some photos of the band, listen to some of their music or watch a video.
The performance will be at The Salvation Army Gateway Church on 824 Union Road. This benefit concert will be free of charge. Those attending will be given an opportunity to make a financial contribution to The Salvation Army to help develop and support programs, services and activities for underprivileged children.
We do hope that you will come–intent on enjoying the music and prepared to make a generous contribution for the children’s activities of The Salvation Army. But we also trust that you will bring with you others who will do the same.
Thank you, in advance for your support.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
There is nothing like the music of the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s. Big band music blends the sound of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, piano, guitar, and drums and the sound is amazing. The residents of this area will have the opportunity to enjoy a big band performance on Thursday, May 14th at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Laurel. The proceeds from the event will go to The Salvation Army to help send underprivileged children to summer camp.
Tom Walker, organizer of the event, said, “Everything we will do that night will stem from the swing band era of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. In the late 1940s, touring bands stopped travelling for two reasons-- the expense of taking 20 musicians on the road and the introduction of rock and roll. Four of the most popular bands in the country disbanded in the late 1940s and many that enjoyed the big band sound have not had the opportunity to hear a live performance of this type in quite some time.”
Tom Walker’s parents were Salvation Army officers so he grew up in The Salvation Army. He was born in Columbus, Mississippi, but moved with his family to Gulfport and Natchez as they took new appointments with the Salvation Army. After graduating from high school in Mobile, Alabama, Tom attended the University of Southern Mississippi where he received his undergraduate degree in music. During his time at USM, he played in the jazz band which is where he began appreciating the big band sound. He then completed his masters degree in music at the University of North Texas in Denton and his doctorate degree in music from the University of Northern Colorado.
“I taught music for 23 years at Oklahoma State University where I was professor of trombone, director of jazz studies, director of music technology and was Associate Dean,” he said. He has performed and recorded with the renowned University of North Texas One O’Clock Jazz Lab Band as well as the 10-member jazz trombone ensemble, Spiritual to the Bone that has recorded five CDs and toured Europe and Australia. He now serves as Dean with the Division of Continuing Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and is a member of The Salvation Army St. Louis Gateway Citadel Corps band.
When asked why he decided to bring the big band performance to Jones County Mississippi, he said, “ I have wanted to do something like this for years. It provides me an opportunity to blend my love for big band music with my love for The Salvation Army. There is nothing like doing something like this to benefit children in need. I appreciate the opportunity to give back to a program that has been so important in my life.”
According to Dr. Walker, the performance at First Baptist Church on May 14th will be a blend of the big band sound with some of the most loved gospel songs of all time. “Some of the selections we will play that evening will include Amazing Grace, The Old Rugged Cross and I’ll Fly Away,” he said.
Those attending will also enjoy the vocals of Marsha Walker who has been a professional soloist for the last 25 years. She has given over 1,000 performances as a musical theatre actress, been featured at civic and church events throughout the Southeast, and has been a five-time artist with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, she has been a vocal and piano teacher since 1983 and currently serves as Minister of Music and Youth at Doby’s Bridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
Walker concluded by saying that in addition to supporting a good cause, the Gospel Train Big Band concert will be fun for all.