Sunday, 22 July 2012 by Keith Bahlmann
The Big Big Band From Sweden is coming to Central Texas as part of their 9th U.S. Tour since their first in 1978. This outstanding 63-person band will appear at 6 pm, July 22nd , at the Belton High School Performing Arts Center located at 600 Lake Rd, Belton, TX. Their entire July 6-23 U.S. Tour is taking place in Texas. This concert is their final appearance before returning to Sweden.
The Belton Concert is sponsored by Immanuel Lutheran Ministries of Temple and Belton.
The Big Big Band From Sweden includes young people in their late teens right through to members who have played in the band for more than 40 years! Band members come from several small villages in the Southern Province of Sweden called "Skäne," which is the province closest to Denmark. The band includes teachers, doctors, engineers, farmers, professors, high school and university students and homemakers.
The band was begun by Christian music teacher, Erik Karp, in 1955 as a way to reach neighborhood youth with the Gospel message. For the past 30 years, Erik's son, Ingemar, has directed the band.
Sixty-seven years after the band was begun, this outstanding group has performed all over Scandinavia, northern Europe and America. They have played for television specials on Swedish Television.
In Sweden, the band is known as "Röke Blas" or "Röke Musikkår," and it is the biggest big band in the world! The Swedish word "blås" means "blow" and "musikkår" means "music corp".
Coming with the band on their 2012 tour is Vincent Nilsson, a band alum, who is one of today's most renown jazz trombonists in the world. Vincent has been a featured artist with Copenhagen's famed Tivoli Garden's Big Band and he is a member of the Royal Danish Radio Big Band.
The band's 2012 Texas Tour includes 16 concerts. The band members will be overnight guests in over 400 homes.
Rev. Dana Wilhelmsen is welcoming the entire Central Texas Community to this unique concert. Pastor Wilhelmsen is sure that this group's "Big Band Sound" will appeal to young and old.
A free-will offering will be received at the concert which benefits the Shepherd's Canyon Retreat Ministry. For more information: www.ShepherdsCanyonRetreat.org.
Please call (254) 773-3898 to reserve seating for groups of 12 or more.