|Compton Heights Concert Band|
The Compton Heights Concert Band of St. Louis presents exciting, old-fashioned Sousa-style band concerts with world-class guest artists.
The main season is an outdoor Summer concert series Sunday Serenades & Musical Mondays.
NEW! Since we will not be performing this summer, due to COVID-19, we are launching a new YouTube Channel Sunrise Serenades on YouTube!. We will be releasing one episode per week of our "Sunrise Serenades" TV Show which aired on KMOV for 14 months in 2000-2001. These exciting episodes feature selections from summer and holiday concerts with fabulous guest artists; Moosic! the band's mascot; Harry Swanger, announcer; and "Kitty's Kitchen". Episode Number 9 was released the first week featuring Hugh Kash Smith, tenor at Powell Hall in a holiday Pops concert with the Compton Heights Concert Band. The next episode is a "Sukay Appetizer"! It includes a snippet from Sukay's restaurant, the Band in Emperata Overture and Down Argentina Way and a short piece of music from Sukay's appearance with the Band. See our Youtube channel for a new episode each Wonderful Wednesday! Sunrise Serenades on YouTube!.
The Band rehearses year-round in the former Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at Lafayette & Longfellow Place. See Built St. Louis for photos of this beautiful facility.
The Band presents annual Memorial Day concerts in Tower Grove Park, and Annual Holiday Pops Spectaculars at Powell Hall, Skip Viragh, and Purser auditoriums. The Band has collaborated with many groups, including the "All American Alumni Band" in a Labor Day Concert 2019. In addition to outdoor concerts 1980-2019, the Band has presented a summer indoor series "Sousa Sundays" at the Purser Auditorium in 2013. The Band is pictured in Tower Grove Park. (Photo by L.T.Spence, Post-Dispatch)
Featured Guest Artists: Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers, Butchwax & the Hollywoods with Billy Peek, Red Lehr & the St. Louis Rivermen, Those Darn Accordions, Stoneback Sisters & Stoneback Brass, Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, The Legend Singers, The ReBirth Brass Band!, PROJECT Trio!, Canadian Brass; Sukay, Music of the Andes; Clarion Brass, Holiday Saxes, Buckwheat Zydeco, and the Carl & Mason T. Capps.
David Morris, The World's Top Whistler, Hugh Kash Smith, Nicole Cabell, Gina Galati, Sigrun Hjalmtysdottir, Gail & Bill Lennon, Mike Cathcart, Beverly Stewart-Anderson, Johnnie Johnson, and Robert Ellison. To see Robert Ellison with the Band in December 2016, see Robert Ellison "God Bless the USA". Many instrumental soloists have appeared such as trumpeters Arturo Sandoval and Doc Severensen; pianists, Peter Nero, Lindsay Garritson, and Marjorie Vincent; marimba artist Debbye Turner-Bell; oboist, Alex Klein; clarinetist, Ricardo Morales; and many more. The Compton Heights Band has also featured unusual instruments including the theremin (Dr. Robert Froehner), glass armonica (Carolinn Skyler) and organ with Cameron Carpenter. The Band has collaborated with several choirs, including The Gospel Symphonic Choir with Dello Thedford, the Legend Singers, and the East Central College Choir. There's always something exciting to hear each year.
Kitty Swanger administrates the Band's Facebook page. To see Kitty in "Kitty's Kitchen" see Sweet & Sour MeatBalls
Video clips from the Band's 2016 Holiday concert at Powell Hall:
Hugh Smith and East Central College Combined Choirs in Ode to Joy 2016
Gina Galati in Ave Maria 2016
Bob Ellison, Baritone, in God Bless the USA 2016
The Band is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization.
Special Thanks to: The Orthopedic Center of St. Louis
The Band was founded in 1976 by Harry Swanger, President and Bassoonist. The Band is conducted by professional conductor Edward Dolbashian. The original conductor was Kaid Friedel who was a French Hornist in the St. Louis Symphony.
The Band appeared on its own TV show "Sunrise Serenades" which aired for a year on KMOV-TV, CBS Affiliate with Harry Swanger and the band mascot, Moosic! For a segment from that show featuring the late Johnnie Johnson, see "Sunrise Serenades" on YouTube. The band concert experience has been expressed to the public through music, words, and even by a plein air painter, BillyO . To read a vivid description of a summer concert, see The Sounds of Summer, written by Robert E. Knittel.
The Riverfront Times named Compton Heights Concert Band - Best Entertainment Value on a Hot Summer Evening.
Jim Sparks, Photographer