The year 2015 was a milestone year for Unforgettable Big Band, we celebrated our 15th season of bringing the swing to York County and surrounding areas, and it was a busy year like none before it. With new venues, new music, and exciting events, the band enjoyed unprecedented success, perhaps nowhere more noticeable than in the fan counter on our facebook page, which more than doubled, from just over 1,200 "likes" at the end of 2014 to more than 2,500 by the time 2015 closed.
The year began in exciting fashion, with several intense rehearsals in preparation for a recording session in March that would result in Fifteen 4 Fifteen, our second CD release celebrating our 15 years. Notably, the album features an original selection, written by vocalist Tonia Grubb and arranged for Unforgettable by Lindy Mack entitled Brighten Up Your Day With A Little Doris Day. Written to commemorate Ms. Day's 90th birthday in 2014, the band built a centerpiece concert around the song which was released as a digital single at a 91st birthday tribute concert performed to a sellout crowd at the York Elks Lodge on April 3. The band also returned to Lake Meade in April for our annual appearance at the annual Spring fundraising dance, continuing a tradition that spans more than a decade and represents Unforgettable's longest standing performance.
Tonia Grubb performs "Embraceable You" at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Harrisburg
May saw the band traveling to Harrisburg to perform for reunion weekend for the Scottish Rite Valley of Harrisburg at the impressive Scottish Rite auditorium, a new venue for the band, and a wonderful place to perform. On Memorial Day weekend, we returned to the Elks Lodge for our second annual Big Band Brunch, this year in partnership with the Elks Veterans Service Committee, raising more than $3,000 to benefit the Sandy Walker memorial veterans drop-in center with another capacity crowd.
In June, Unforgettable added another new venue with a dance in Carlisle at Carlisle United Methodist Church. The dance, with a seniors prom theme, was well received and the band was booked for a return appearance in 2016. The next night, June 6, we appeared at the Yorktowne Hotel for a gala celebration honoring and kicking off the 100th anniversary year of the Rotary Club of York Before the month was over, the band also travelled south of the Mason-Dixon line for a dance at the Thurmont American Legion hall organized by the New Thurmont Dance Club.
July saw the band return to Lancaster County for the second straight season performing at the Ruhl's Church Picnic, before returning for the 8th time to Brown's Orchards and Farm Market in Loganville in August for our official anniversary concert, and the release of the "Fifteen 4 Fifteen" CD. Beautiful weather contributed to perhaps the largest crowd ever seen at Brown's for their summer concert series.
Before August was over, Unforgettable made two more appearances, first at the Wyndham Conference Center for the William Penn Senior High School 60th reunion. Unforgettable trombonist Dale Boyer was among the honored guests, along with several friends of the band. A rare mid-week concert at Senior Commons at Powder Mill capped off the month.
Jim Scofield performs "Minnie the Moocher" at York Elks Lodge #213
Unforgettable traveled west in September to perform at another new venue as a part of the inaugural Summer Sips and Sounds concert series at Hauser Estate Winery in Adams County. The crowd was swinging to the traditional big band sounds, and came to their feet clapping and cheering to the debut of a big band arrangement of Uptown Funk prepared by Lindy Mack.
In October, we returned to the Yorktowne Hotel for a very special wedding reception that was preceeded by perhaps York's first ever New Orleans style second line, as our friends the Duke Street Deacons led the wedding party down Market Street to the hotel, complete with parasols and singing along. We were back at Lake Meade on Thanksgiving weekend for the annual Fall dance, once again a rousing success.
On December 11 and 12, Unforgettable closed out our 15th year with another birthday celebration, as we paid tribute to Frank Sinatra with a gala concert production entitled Sinatra Centennial. The concerts, held at York Little Theatre, were sold out for both nights, the performance featured vocalist Jim Scofield singing many of Sinatra's most famous songs.
Unforgettable Big Band thanks all of our friends and fans for another great year of music and memories, as we look forward to our second 15 years and beyond.