MISSISSIPPI SWING!

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. In 2015 the brass band received the Arthur Mahoney Spirit Award.  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 and the 2017 MAPE Partnership Excellence Award.

 

 
 

Flowood Library 2018

10th Anniversary CD is Here!

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The Mississippi Swing Big Band 10th Anniversary CD was released May 16th at our Christ United Methodist Church concert! We are almost SOLD OUT! The 15 track CD includes our fan favorites - In the Mood, String of Pearls, Sentimental Journey Chattanooga Choo Choo, What a Wonderful World, and more! Recorded at Allegrezza Piano Company by Vertigo Sound, the CD was mastered by Sam Brady. A special thanks goes to all the musicians who volunteered to make this happen! Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, we are able to offer this CD for only $10!  The CD package consists of a 6-panel full color wallet, 12 page color booklet detailing highlights of the band and the 15 track CD. If you would like to purchase a CD, contact David Schommer, Director at 601-951-9091.

Elizabeth Schommer and Richard Tanner

were recipients of the

Mississippi Swing!

2017 Outstanding Community Service Award!

Elizabeth Schommer

Elizabeth Schommer

Richard Tanner

Richard Tanner

Pepsi Pops 2017!

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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!

Library Celebration!

2016 Award Recipients

Maurice Hillman and Lindy Harris
are recipients of the
 Mississippi Swing!
2016 Outstanding Community Service Award
Congratulations!
Maurice Hillman

Maurice Hillman

Lindy Harris

Lindy Harris

Making History!

Mississippi Swing!
Celebrates  
12 Years
Over 100 Volunteer Musicians

170 Performances...

Since December, 2004!
Mississippi Swing! alumnus Judson Wright performed at the 9th Annual Township Jazz Festival, held on April 9, 2016, We went on to win an award at the 2016 Alcorn State Jazz Festival. We are very proud of Judson! He performed with Mississippi Swing! when he was in high school and showed great potential!

Mississippi Swing! alumnus Judson Wright performed at the 9th Annual Township Jazz Festival, held on April 9, 2016, We went on to win an award at the 2016 Alcorn State Jazz Festival. We are very proud of Judson! He performed with Mississippi Swing! when he was in high school and showed great potential!

2015 Award Recipients

Jay Bennett and Ryan Coffey
are recipients of the
Mississippi Swing!
2015 Outstanding Community Service Award
Congratulations!
Jay Bennett

Jay Bennett

Ryan Coffey

Ryan Coffey

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CD Recording Session!

On February 22, 2015, Mississippi Swing! began recording it's 10th Anniversary CD at Allegrezza Piano Company!  The CD was recorded by Vertigo Sound and Sam Brady mastered the tracks.

On February 22, 2015, Mississippi Swing! began recording it's 10th Anniversary CD at Allegrezza Piano Company! The CD was recorded by Vertigo Sound and Sam Brady mastered the tracks.

Junior League Donation!

Junior League of Jackson Helps Mississippi Swing!
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!

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2014 Award Recipients!

John Retherford and Jeff Reiter
are recipients of the
Mississippi Swing!
2014 Outstanding Community Service Award!
Congratulations!
MCSB and Mississippi Swing! named
Mississippi's Official Ambassadors of Musical Entertainment!
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Jeff Carter and Barbara Cox are recipients of the
Mississippi Swing!
2013 Outstanding Service Award!
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St. Dominic!

Mississippi Swing! performed for the St. Dominic New Directions Christmas Party on December 15, 2013!

Mississippi Swing! performed for the St. Dominic New Directions Christmas Party on December 15, 2013!

Forest Hill Reunion

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2012 Award Recipients

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2012 Outstanding Service Award (8 Years):
George Murphy
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2012 Outstanding Service Award (8 Years):
Bernard Holly
Congratulations to
Bill Mayfield
recipient of the
2011 Outstanding Service Award
2004-2011

7 Years Dedicated Service.
Founding Member of Mississippi Swing!
 
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Crystal Springs!

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Knife and Fork Club 9/11/2012

Liz & David Get Married!

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Knife and Fork Club '12

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St. Matthews Fundraiser '12

St. Dominic Christmas Party '11

Wesley Chapel 2011

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Under the direction of JAS bandleader David Schommer, the Mississippi Swing! big band performed at CommunityFest at Wesley Chapel on October 29th! The 19-piece big band performed a one hour set that included several hits including Chattanooga Choo Choo, Sentimental Journey, Satin Doll, Rock Around the Clock, Mercy, Mercy, Mercy and more!

Belhaven Concert May, 2011

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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

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Pearl Library 5th Birthday! 2010

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Walk and roll

As featured on WLBT and YouTube. Click on the image links below.

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St. Dominic Christmas Party 2009

Concert Features Vocal Trio!

Mississippi Swing! performed Monday, October 26th at Belhaven College along with the Mississippi Community Symphonic Band! The MS Swing! repertoire included I've Got Rhythm, What a Wonderful World, Beer Barrel Polka (for those who missed Germanfest!), Lullaby of Broadway (our first ever vocal trio, featuring Lori Blount, Chris Blount and Cary Breedlove!), and Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky - featuring Jeff Reiter, on lead trumpet, Maurice Hillman, on Sax and Lindy Harris, on drums). A special thanks goes to Mike Weidick for recording the performance! Enjoy the audio clips!

Richland Dance Success!

The Richland Swing Dance was quite a success! The event, sponsored by the City of Richland the Richland Community Dance Club was a blast! Over 150 music lovers came out for an evening of big band music!  The Richland Community Center was absolutely beautiful (complete with dance floor and decorations) and the acoustics were awesome! I never knew that Sonic could cater an event such as this but they did an incredible job! The menu included salad, fried chicken strips, mashed potatoes, string beans, and a drink! Over twenty local musicians volunteered for the performance! A special thanks goes to Fran Graves and Terri Woods for coordinating the event! Thanks also goes to our friends at  the Rankin Ledger for the great publicity! Big Band music is alive and well in Mississippi!

In the Rankin Ledger!



Let's dance!
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.


ST. MATTHEWS DINNER-DANCE SUCCESS!
A special thanks goes to all who assisted with this performance! St. Matthew's United Methodist Church, 7427 Old Canton Road in Madison,held it's first dinner-dance featuring Mississippi Swing! The event had quite a turnout and the dance floor remained full throughout the evening! Proceeds benefitted the church's 2009 Honduras mission trip in September. Special thanks is also in store for Rayford Woodrick for landing us the opportunity to perform. Good fun for a good cause!

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!!"
-Greg Mitchell


"Your band is super impressive...Let me tell you I am impressed!"
-
Sarah Duncan 

The Mississippi Braves!

Stars to Attend Salvation Army Night
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)...

Messenger

Performing at the Ole Miss Game '07

On TV!

Epilepsy Foundation 2005 Our first big gig! Under the original name of the Mississippi Community Big Band! 6.04 MB

WLEZ WEBSITE

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As Featured in the Clarion Ledger

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Our beloved Mississippi Swing!...
Featured in advertisement for Sunnybrook Estates!
(March, 2009)

"Swing-Mobile" Sent to Pasture...

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The beloved Mississippi Swing! 1999 Ford Windstar SEL was recently sent to pasture due to complications resulting from a blown head gasket. Given the nickname “The Swing-Mobile, ” the van was purchased by bandleader David Schommer on August, 4, 2007 and served Mississippi Swing! as well as The Jackson All-Stars, faithfully for over 5 years. During that time, it provided reliable transportation for 236 musical performances. In addition to carrying enough equipment for a 25-piece big band, it also carried two 10 x 20 canopies, chairs, fans, and other supplies for two of our annual oompah band performances at Germanfest – until it became too risky due to age, mileage, and strain on the engine. It also served as a handyman vehicle for Watkins Elementary School - transporting lumber, tools and equipment for community workdays. At 14 years old and with over 215,000 miles on it, it was pronounced “terminal” at Green’s Tire and Auto on January 1, 2013. Known for its quirky personality (the automatic doors would open and close unpredictably and the speedometer would “dance” as you drove it) a retirement ceremony was recently held in the driveway at the Schommer's home, in Madison. “The Swing-Mobile” is being donated to Catholic Charities so that it might have “new life.” It will be missed…
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Introducing the Swing-Mobile II

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2004 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
Limited Anniversary Edition
(Fully loaded and ready for abuse!)