A Grand Finale

Last night was the final concert in the summer concerts performed by the Compton Heights Concert Band. It was, in my opinion, the best program of the season.

The music was a nice mix of things. Because Hugh Smith, tenor, was the soloist, some were from opera, some were from operettas and some were more pop numbers. The band played some and Hugh sang some. Hugh has come every year for about the last 12 and is a great favorite of the St. Louis audience.

One of the songs Hugh sang was “Embraceable You.” After he sang, Lucy, the announcer said, “Okay, you talked me into it.” and gave him a big hug.

Probably the strangest number of the evening was Thriller. This was an acknowledgment of the death of Michael Jackson. A large square stage had been built in front of the bandstand and a group of dancers from a local studio came out and danced. I believe the type of dance they did would be classified as modern dance. They were representing zombies. One of the band members narrated a portion of the number, dressed in black cape and using an appropriately spooky voice.

But the real star of the evening was Hugh Smith. The love which flowed from the audience to him was almost palpable. He returned it. Several of his numbers and/or some of the band numbers were arranged by the man who was his high school band teacher. That man was present and acknowledged.

It was a grand finale of a most enjoyable season.

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