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Tommy Smith and Scottish National Jazz Orchestra 26 January 2008
Patrons of Music in Lanark and music lovers in the district were richly rewarded on Saturday by the visit of the SNJO under the direction of Tommy Smith to Lanark Agricultural Centre.
All 18 members of the orchestra are virtuoso soloists in their own right and to hear them combine to play Gershwin' Rhapsody In Blue(arr. Smith) was an experience few of 280 strong audience will forget.
The excellence of the venue and it's good acoustic contributed to an exciting evening of modern jazz, featured soloists including Tommy Smith( alto sax), Alyn Cosker(drum), Brian Kellock(piano) Colin Gourlay( bass) , Graeme Scott on guitar and vocalist Tam White.
The concert was led off by Lanark Grammar School Jazz Band, led by principal teacher Mrs Elspeth Brown who had had the benefit of a workshop conducted by Tommy and Alyn in the Grammar School on Friday afternoon.
The 16 strong school band played 'Breezing', 'In The Mood'and 'Spanish Play'. "I was absolutely delighted that we were asked to be the warm up band" Elspeth told the Gazette. "I think the band played a blinder and did fantastically well. It was a once in a lifetime experience. The pupils were totally in awe of the SNJO band. They thought they were tremendous. And the fact that Tommy and Alyn had been out the previous day to do a workshop with the kids made it all the better". Elspeth would also like to thank the audience who donated £455.88 via a bucket collection.The funds will go towards new instruments and equipment.