PORT HENRY - Moriah Central School will again host a professional orchestra in concert.
The Count Basie Orchestra will perform at the school Monday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.
Tickets for the jazz show are $16 each and proceeds will benefit the Moriah music department.
"I was contacted by the management of the Count Basie Orchestra on the last day of September on short notice about coming to Moriah," said Matthew Pray, Moriah music teacher. "They explained how they had a cancellation on Oct. 25 and they wanted to know if we were interested in having them come. The answer is really simple. How can I say no to The Basie Band?"
Anyone interested in buying tickets should call 546-3301 ext. 405 or Email Pray at firstname.lastname@example.org. Payments can be in cash or check made out to Moriah Central School.
Last year the school hosted the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
"I've been explaining to my students that last year's Glenn Miller Orchestra concert was a huge success," Pray said. "The community was so welcoming and everyone had a great time.
"I didn't plan a big event for this year, but I seemed to have stumbled upon this one," he added. "I would love to encourage community members to once again come to MCS and support the music program as we bring in more quality music for the area.
"My students were told last year that the Glenn Miller Orchestra was one of the world's most famous bands," Pray said. "Now I am telling them The Count Basie Orchestra IS the world's most famous band."
In his 80-year life, William "Count" Basie so expanded and elevated the art form that his legacy is regarded as an "American Institution" by modern music's connoisseurs around the world.
Basie, a New Jersey native, grew up with the tempos of The Swing Era in New York City. But toward the close of the Roaring 20s, it was Kansas City that was drawing notice for jazz. Young pianist "Bill Basie" landed there while working the national vaudeville circuit and briefly joined Walter Paige's Blue Devils, then stayed on with The Benny Moten Orchestra.
He took the name "The Count" and formed his own group in 1936.
His sixth sense quickly assessed each sideman's potential as an ingredient for the distinctive sound of his group. The Count's manner earned the resect of his peers, the affection of his players, and contributed to the rapid success of the new group.
The Count Basie Orchestra played for decades, made many records, appeared in movies and won numerous awards. Basie performed with music legends such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald and more.
The Count Basie Orchestra has won 17 Grammy Awards.
Basie died in 1984, but his orchestra has continued to tour.
The Count Basie Orchestra today consists of 19 performers committed to upholding and advancing this "American Institution." The majority of the sound still swings from musicians handpicked by Count Basie himself.