The Marshall County Arts Commission is hosting a festive soiree featuring live music, food and drinks to celebrate the incoming 2020 with its first ever New Year's Eve Extravaganza.
Tickets are now available for the event which begins at 8 p.m. on Dec. 31 at the Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park Convention Center and ends "after midnight." MelRhea Balloon Creations is in charge of decorations, Chef Kelley and his staff will provide heavy hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar will be available and the Todd Hill Orchestra will provide the entertainment.
Ann Riley, an organizer of the event, said, "The fundraising we do provides for the programs we offer the children so we're always in fundraising mode. A New Year's Eve party is not something that has been offered to the people of Marshall County in several years and Todd Hill and his orchestra were available, so it all worked out perfectly."
Riley said Hill is an excellent showman whose singing voice is "incredible," and an extremely talented man whose entire band is also extremely talented.
"We're very luck to have them joining us for the evening," she added. "It's going to be a nice time."
The Todd Hill Orchestra's bandleader, Dr. Todd Hill, said the orchestra consists of 18 musicians featuring five saxophones, five trumpets, four trombones, piano, guitar, bass and drums.
"The name of the group is truly a tribute to the great big bands of a previous generation: Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Les Brown, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmie Lunceford and many, many more," he explained. "We have played for dancing, floorshows, concerts, receptions and virtually any sort of event you can imagine over the past 37 years that we have been performing. I think this is a very special event because the proceeds are going to such a worthy cause. The Marshall County Arts Commission does such great work in the community."
Hill said they will likely play 40-50 selections over the course of the evening, taking short breaks occasionally, featuring a lively lineup: great standards, swing classics, straight ahead jazz tunes, a good number of vocals popularized by Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Dean Martin. He said the biggest emphasis will be big band hits from the 1920s-60s, although a few works from later times may sneak in there as well.
"Until you've heard a professional, live big band letting loose--you've not really heard this music as it was intended to be heard," he added.
In addition to directing his orchestra and smaller bands, Hill is the director of jazz studies and associate professor of music at Murray State University where he directs the jazz orchestra, jazz band, jazz lab big band, three jazz combos and teaches courses in music education, musicianship and jazz history for the Honors College.
Tickets are $50 apiece or $500 for a table of eight. Tickets are available at the Children's Art Center located at 1202 Elm Street in Benton or by calling 270-252-7022 or 270-703-0304.