By Madison Butkus
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Seniors at The Center at The Heights in Needham were treated to a captivating performance by the Newton Swing Band last Thursday. With decades of experience in the local music scene, this ten-piece band, accompanied by a variety of vocalists, aimed to spread joy through their music and enrich the lives of seniors.
The band's repertoire encompassed a range of instruments, including woodwinds, percussion, brass, and strings. During their performance at The Center at The Heights, they delighted the audience with sixteen songs, featuring popular hits such as "Sway," "If I Were a Rich Man," and "Blame It on the Bossa Nova."
Jim Barr, the director of the Newton Swing Band, explained, "Since the closure of the Newton Senior Center and its forthcoming reconstruction, we now perform at City Hall. Our weekly shows take place every Tuesday from 1:30 to 3:00 pm. Next Tuesday, we will begin rehearsing for our annual Patriotic Concert."
To provide the audience with additional insights into each song, Barr interjected with anecdotes, offering background information about song selection, the featured vocalist, and potential meanings behind the songs.
The seniors in attendance were completely captivated by the performance of the Newton Swing Band, often joining in by singing and dancing along. The vocalists skillfully engaged the attendees, encouraging them to sing along during certain parts of the songs.
Furthermore, the conductor, Charlie, would communicate with the musicians before each song, providing guidance on where to look in their sheet music and how the song should be performed. This proved to be beneficial for both the band and the audience, enhancing the overall quality of the performance.