Mississippi Swing! developed as a spin-off volunteer big band of the non-profit Mississippi Community Symphonic Band. It's original name was the Mississippi Community Big Band but was later changed to name with a little more "attitude." The band (or small army, if you prefer) is a "sight to behold" with an average of 20 volunteer musicians, per performance! Amateur and professional musicians alike participate and, as a result, the band has a distinctive FAT sound with a whole lotta attitude! The band's first performance was at Christmas in Canton, in December, 2004 but the band was officially "born" in January, 2005. Since then, the group has slated 184 performances - our biggest performance being for an audience of over 3,000 at the Mississippi Coliseum! Never satisfied with just playing the same old thing, the band has developed quite a repertoire that now includes over 170 classic big band tunes, jazz standards, and classic pop charts ("Vehicle" anyone?). The group puts on FREE mini-concerts at Christ United Methodist Church several times during the year, along with the Mississippi Community Symphonic Band. For more info, go to www.mcsb.us. Click on "The Swing Band." In 2009, Mississippi Swing! was awarded the Key to the City by the City of Richland for bringing big band, jazz and Dixieland music to their community. The band also won the Otha Turner Award in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014 for providing a brass band for the nationally known St. Paddy Parade, held annually in downtown Jackson, Mississippi. In 2013, the brass band won The Clarion Ledger / O.C. McDavid Trophy for its outstanding performance in the parade. The brass band received the Arthur Mahoney Spirit Award in 2015 and 2018. In recognition of over 10 years volunteer service to the parade, the Mississippi Swing Brass Band was given the honor of leading the 2017 St. Paddy Parade. Mississippi Swing's original King Edward Stomp was featured on WLEZ Radio FM 100.1's Swing and Sway Radio Program. Composed by MCSB conductor, David Miller, the tune is a tribute to Jackson's own King Edward Hotel, a historic landmark. The MCSB / Mississippi Swing! Musical Instrument Drive to benefit local middle school band programs won the 2016 Governor's Award for Outstanding Community Partnership, the 2017 MAPE Partnership Excellence Award and the 2018 Governor's Award for Exemplary Community Partnership! Bandleader David Schommer was named recipient of the 2018 Governor's GIVE Award - Arts and Humanities, for outstanding volunteer service.
Flowood Library 2018
10th Anniversary CD is Here!
Elizabeth Schommer and Richard Tanner
were recipients of the
2017 Outstanding Community Service Award!
Pepsi Pops 2017!
Mississippi Swing! was invited to perform at Pepsi Pops 36! We had a blast! Musical selections included Days of Wine and Roses, In the Mood, String of Pearls, Birth of the Blues, Jumpin' at the Woodside, Leap Frog, What a Wonderful World, and Rock Around the Clock. What a fine group of volunteer musicians! A special thanks goes to the Mississippi Symphonic Orchestra for inviting us to perform during the pre-concert. Other opening acts included the Mississippi Youth Orchestra and the popular Southern Komfort Brass Band!
2016 Award Recipients
are recipients of the
2016 Outstanding Community Service Award
Over 100 Volunteer Musicians
Since December, 2004!
2015 Award Recipients
are recipients of the
2015 Outstanding Community Service Award
CD Recording Session!
Junior League Donation!
Celebrate 10th Anniversary!
Thanks to a generous donation from the Junior League of Jackson, Mississippi Swing!
has 10 new big band hits added to our repertoire, including:
1. The Shadow of Your Smile (Johnny Mandel – Grammy & Academy Award Winner)
2. Things Ain’t What They Used to Be by Mercer Ellington (Son of Duke Ellington)
3. Until I Met You (Freddie Green – Count Basie Orchestra)
4. Stomping at the Savoy (Benny Goodman)
5. Putting on the Ritz (Irving Berlin)
6. The Lady is a Tramp (Rodgers and Hart)
7. Embraceable You (Instrumental, Gershwin)
8. L-O-V-E (Nat King Cole hit!)
9. Undecided (Big hit for The Ames Brothers and the Les Brown Orchestra)
10. Saint Louis Blues (W.C. Handy)
Thank you Junior League!
MS Swing! in Lexington!
2014 Award Recipients!
are recipients of the
2014 Outstanding Community Service Award!
Mississippi's Official Ambassadors of Musical Entertainment!
2013 Outstanding Service Award!
Forest Hill Reunion
2012 Award Recipients
recipient of the
2011 Outstanding Service Award
7 Years Dedicated Service.
Founding Member of Mississippi Swing!
Knife and Fork Club 9/11/2012
Liz & David Get Married!
Knife and Fork Club '12
St. Matthews Fundraiser '12
St. Dominic Christmas Party '11
Wesley Chapel 2011
Belhaven Concert May, 2011
St. Matthews Valentine Dance '11
Flowood Library 2010
Richland Swing Dance 11/12/10
St. Catherine's Village 2010
Knife and Fork Club 9/7/10
Pearl Library 5th Birthday! 2010
As featured on WLBT and YouTube. Click on the image links below.
St. Dominic Christmas Party 2009
Concert Features Vocal Trio!
Richland Dance Success!
In the Rankin Ledger!
Susan Marquez • Rankin Ledger Correspondent • September 5, 2009
Whether you're light on your feet, or just enjoy the sounds of the Big Band era, the place to be on Sept. 11 is the Richland Community Center for a night of swing music, socializing and ballroom dancing.
The Richland Dance Club is hosting the event. The group started in February 2002 and meets monthly.
"We have a great group of people who enjoy learning about ballroom dancing," said Fran Graves, coordinator of the group. "We are seeing more and more young people, which is great, because they're learning dance techniques they can use throughout their lives."
Graves said that plans are in the works to establish a program for young dancers in the future. The Richland Senior Adult Program is helping to sponsor the event which begins at 7pm.
"We typically have dance lessons from 6:30 to 7 p.m.," Graves said. The event on Sept. 11 will feature the Mississippi Swing Band, a 20-piece orchestra that plays classic big band music as well as more modern tunes.
"We play mostly songs from the 1930s and '40s," said bandleader David Schommer. "Folks coming to this event will enjoy tunes such as In the Mood, Satin Doll, String of Pearls, and Days of Wine and Roses. But we'll also play some tunes from the '50s and '60s as well, including some Henry Mancini and Girl from Impanema."
Schommer said the Mississippi Swing Band is made up of a group of volunteer musicians who have a love of music of the Big Band era.
"We play about 20 to 25 gigs a year, and we work strictly on donations. These dance events are new territory, and folks aren't quite sure about them. But if you plan on going to enjoy the music, you may be inclined to get out on the dance floor as well."
"You don't have to be a trained dancer to attend our events," stressed Graves, who studied ballroom dancing for eight years. "That was the best time of my life, but I haven't danced in the past couple of years due to a car accident. But I still enjoy watching others dance, and there's nothing like the music to make you feel good. The music is just wonderful!"
Professional dance instructors will be on hand to help those who don't know certain dances. Joe Piggott, who has been dancing since 1991, teaches dance on major cruise ships.
"We just did a transcontinental cruise on the Queen Mary in May," Pigott said. "We danced five to six hours a day for 14 days!" Piggott said that he'll be available to dance with anyone at the event, as well as others. "It just takes a couple of minutes to learn the basic steps, and then you'll be dancing! It's just a matter of concentration for a few minutes until your brain can tell your feet what to do. Then it will just come naturally."
Pigott said that shows like Dancing With the Stars have really increased the level of interest in ballroom dancing.
"It's great exercise and lots of fun. We don't do anything as involved as what you see on television, but we do have a lot of fun on the dance floor."
Tickets, which will be available at the door, are $10 and include refreshments donated by Sonic. "Dancers and nondancers of all ages are encouraged to attend," Graves said. "And you can come with or without a partner. Everyone's welcomed, and we guarantee everyone will have a great time!" The Richland Community Center is located behind Walmart on U.S. 49 South. For more information, contact Graves at (601) 939-2241.
Salvation Army Night at Trustmark Park -
History is Made!
On July 15th, members of The Jackson All-Stars teamed up with our beloved Mississippi Swing! for Salvation Army Night with The Mississippi Braves at 6:00 PM for a pre-game show! This was the first performance by a 25+-piece swing band at the stadium! For the event, the band switched gears and rocked the house with Peter Gunn (The Blues Brothers), The James Bond Theme, Rock Around The Clock (Bill Haley and the Comets), Oye Como Va (Santana), Vehicle (Ides of March), Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (A big hit for Buddy Rich's Big Band), Bandstand Boogie (The Theme from American Bandstand) and a swingin version of Take Me Out to the Ballgame! For the finale, the band backed up vocalist Cary Breedlove on Lee Greenwood's God Bless the USA! Soloists did an incredible job and included Jeff Reiter on lead trumpet, Anne Berthold on trumpet, Maurice Hillman on tenor, Barbara Cox on Alto, Elizabeth Koskie on keyboard and Mike Weidick on trombone. Cary Breedlove also led the crowd in Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the 7th inning stretch!
Any fan that donated one article of clothing such as a shirt, pants, suit, coat, jacket or a pair of shoes received free admission to the game! There was a huge turnout for the event! A special thanks goes to Lisa Dunn, Georgette Keenum, Marika Cackett and all those involved in this special project! Go Braves!
"The MS Swing Band is GREAT! I truly enjoyed your pre-game show. Wishing you much success!"
- Tammy Goss
"WOW! What a wonderful performance tonite at Trustmark Park..it just gets better and better! And to Jeff the lead trumpet player...(he) knows how to hit those high notes! EXCELLENT!!!!!"
- Roberta Byrd
"Way to go!!"
"Your band is super impressive...Let me tell you I am impressed!"
- Sarah Duncan
The Mississippi Braves!
07/09/2009 4:58 PM ET
By Nicholas Skinner / Mississippi Braves
Pearl, MS - The Mississippi Braves announce that Wednesday, July 15th will be Salvation Army Night at Trustmark Park and any fan that donates one article of clothing will get FREE admission to the M-Braves game that night against the Huntsville Stars. As an added bonus, Cleveland Cavaliers Mo Williams, Delonte West, Darnell Jackson, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Atlanta Falcon Jerious Norwood will all be in attendance Wednesday night.
The players will compete in a bell-ringer competition to see who can raise the most money for the Salvation Army. Bell ringers will be posted at all three gates at Trustmark Park. The players will be available for autographs once the game gets underway.
There will be three Salvation Army trucks and a Salvation Army canteen on site. Donations will be accepted beginning at 4 pm. However, Trustmark Park's gates will not open until 6 pm.
Daves Highway and the Lee Perry Project will both perform on the main stage inside the main gate at Trustmark Park at 6 pm. Mississippi Swing, a 25-piece swing band, will perform outside the VIP gate at Trustmark Park at 6:10 pm.
Articles of clothing such as shirts, pants, shorts, coats, jackets, suits or pairs of shoes can be donated. All donations will be welcomed as articles of clothing that are in poor condition will be recycled. Fans donating five or more items will receive a free hot dog and drink as well as a gift from the M-Braves.
The Salvation Army will be in attendance to accept donations and issue receipts for tax purposes.
For further information, contact the Mississippi Braves at 601-932-8788.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
In the CUMC Messenger (2009)...
As Featured in the Clarion Ledger
Featured in advertisement for Sunnybrook Estates!
"Swing-Mobile" Sent to Pasture...
Introducing the Swing-Mobile II
Limited Anniversary Edition
(Fully loaded and ready for abuse!)