2017-06-15 / Front Page

Time to tap those toes

Free outdoor concert series begins next week
BY LANIA ROCHA
810-452-2652 • lrocha@mihomepaper.com

SWARTZ CREEK – The 33rd annual summer concert season, presented by the Swartz Creek Fine Arts Association, opens Tuesday, June 20, at the Pajtas Theater.

This year’s series is sponsored in part by a Community Impact Fund grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, as well as local businesses and service organizations.

The free concerts begin at 7 p.m. and continue on consecutive Tuesdays through Aug. 8. Concessions are available for purchase and free raffles will take place at intermission. Concert-goers should bring lawn chairs or blankets.

This year’s lineup is chock full of nostalgia, with many bands performing hits from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. The playbill also includes an Elvis impersonator, a British invasion band and the traditional Big Band entry.

“The crowd really enjoys that (‘50s and ‘60s) music,” said David Spillane, Fine Arts Association president. “The core group now is the age group that grew up listening to that music, and that’s what they want to hear.”

Here’s a look at this year’s lineup:

June 20: Soul’d Out, a ‘60s and ‘70s rock band, sponsored in part by the Kiwanis Club of Swartz Creek. Soul’d Out is a local band that plays a “good variety” of music and is popular with the Pajtas crowd, said Spillane.

June 27: Motown Eagles, an Eagles tribute band, sponsored in part by GFWC - Swartz Creek Women’s Club. The band is new to the Pajtas stage. “One of the key things I try to focus on is bringing new talent to the area,” said Spillane. “I don’t want to bring in the same bands that all the neighboring communities are booking. They do a nice job (entertaining the crowd). I’m looking forward to seeing them.”

July 4: Jump Street Swing Band, sponsored by Barb Robertson Farm Bureau of Michigan. Spillane has requested that the band play the type of music their name implies – the enduring tunes popularized by greats like Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey. “The people who enjoy this music the most don’t get to hear the Big Band sound much anymore, and they certainly don’t hear it live, so it will be a real treat,” he said.

July 11: Sherman Arnold and Interstate, an Elvis impersonator backed up by a country band, sponsored in part by Swartz Creek Area Firefighters. Arnold has won awards and he’s consistently recognized as one of the better performers in his genre, said Spillane. “He’s a consistent crowd-pleaser,” he said. “A real entertainer, no question.”

July 18: Sinclairs, a dance band playing favorites of the ‘60s through the ‘90s, sponsored in part by Genesee Valley Rotary. Spillane stumbled upon the Sinclairs in Frankenmuth, and they were “rockin’ the house,” he said. “They put on a good show. I was really impressed.”

July 25: Paradise Band, a Jimmy Buffet tribute band, sponsored by Swartz Creek Downtown Development Authority. Grab your Hawaiian shirts and Panama hats … and don’t forget your dancing shoes. The Jimmy Buffet tribute is always a popular show and one that gets a lot of people out of their lawn chairs and onto the dance floor.

Aug. 1: The Invasion Band, everything British from the Beatles to the Stones and beyond, sponsored in part by Teresa Spence Accountant/Tax Service.

Aug. 8: Fairlanes, ‘50s and ‘60s sock hop rock, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Includes the Bob Smeets Memorial Coney Night.

Spillane said he’s pleased with the support the series has garnered from area merchants and clubs.

“Sponsorships are back up this year to a full eight count,” he said.

Memberships, however, remain low, averaging about 25 percent of what they once were.

“We have a beautiful facility that we have to maintain,” said Spillane. “Every bit of money that comes in goes right back into the program. Every sale of concession that’s profit, every donation goes right back to the program.”

For information visit the Association’s website at http://swartzcreekfinearts.org/.

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