Lake Of the Pines: Swing into the Night with Bear River jazz band |

Lake Of the Pines: Swing into the Night with Bear River jazz band

The Union photo/John Hart
John R. Hart | The Union

When I think of growing up during the 1960s, some of my fondest memories are of spending time with my parents while listening to the music of their generation. This music included the work of Louis Armstrong, Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, as well as other 1940s’ big band-era performers.

Mom and Dad met at an Arthur Murray Dance Studio, and they enjoyed many years of dancing together. They, along with others of their generation who lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, visited clubs such as the two-tiered Ali Baba Ballroom in Oakland for nights out of dancing.

At family weddings and parties, my parents were frequently the first couple on the dance floor (after the bride and groom) and the last to leave. The music that serenaded them through their many years of marriage is the same music that will be performed at an upcoming event at Bear River High School.

The BRHS Jazz Band will host its annual Swing into the Night event from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in the school’s multipurpose room, which will be transformed into a big band-era club. Attendees may look forward to enjoying their favorites, such as “In the Mood,” “Moonlight Serenade” and “I’ve Got You Under my Skin.”

Now, just listening to this music performed by a full symphonic band is worth the admission price, but included with your ticket will be the opportunity to work with on-site swing dance instructors. These professionals will assist those who have not quite graduated from an Arthur Murray dance program.

The BRHS Jazz Band will also stage a silent auction, award prizes for the best dancers and serve a delicious selection of desserts and beverages. The cost for seniors and students is $10 single or $15 per couple. Adult tickets are $12 single or $20 per couple.

Swing into the Night is the Jazz Band’s main fundraiser for the year, and these talented students rely almost entirely on the financial support of the community to keep their program alive. Tickets will be available at the door, and can also be obtained by visiting

Community support is needed for another worthy endeavor later in December. Cottage Hill School will be the site for a Holiday Free Shop on Saturday, Dec. 14, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Last year, the Lake of the Pines area residents amassed an impressive selection of gift-worthy items for this event. The gifts were free to those who were unable to purchase them because of financial hardship.

The shop encourages donations of toys, books, stuffed animals and holiday clothing for children. For adults, small knickknacks or jewelry items. The shop cannot accept large exercise equipment pieces or TVs and VCRs.

Please drop off donations beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, at the Pleasant Ridge District Office, 22580 Kingston Lane. For more information contact Jill at

Laura Lavelle’s column is for southern Nevada County residents to share thoughts and information. Contact her at

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