The ‘never work with children’ cliché was laid to rest last Saturday as Straight No Chaser introduced themselves and their music to fifty 4 to 11 year old at the Dharma Primary School ‘Big Band Tea Party’.
The first half introduced the children to various instruments, sounds, speeds and textures through numbers such as “Flight of the Foo Bird”, “Bones for basie” (fantastic playing Bones!) and “Tuxedo Junction”. Jackie and Gary led the children in singing “The lady is a tramp” and “Straighten up and fly right” amongst many others.
Howard’s bass trombone “how low can you go” made everyone’s eyes water.
The second half kicked off with two talented Dharma moms joining the band for “Crazy” and “That old devil”. The rest of the set was designed to get kids, moms and dads on their feet, which they did with gusto, fueled by buckets of tea and mountains of cake.
Gary took us through to the close with great versions of “Leroy Brown” and a whole school ‘leg kicking’ version of “New York, New York”.
The kids loved it (apparently it made it into many “Monday Morning News” books) and parental feedback has been fantastic. We must do it again sometime.