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Current Newsletter / The Show Band's October 13th Mercer Memorial Concert

Posted on October 8th, 2014

Dr. Gabe Petrocelli, Director

TO: Our Show Band Family
FROM: Your Band Director
WHAT'S UP? Mercer's Last Razzel Dazzel
WHERE? Gardiner Spring Auditorium
WHEN? Monday, October 13, 2014
WHAT TIME? 7:30 pm Sharp
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? $0000000000.00

Dear Friends and Music Lovers,

The Ontario/Chaffey Community Show Band will open its 2014-2015 concert season on Monday evening October 13th, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. in the historic Gardiner Spring Auditorium on the campus of Chaffey High School located at 1245 N. Euclid Ave. in Ontario.  Admission is FREE to the public.  The concert is a memorial entitled "Mercer's Last Razzel Dazzel" and a tribute to our Maestro Jack Mercer.  The concert's repertoire will feature many of Jack Mercer's favorite melodies and performing artists.  At 7:00 p.m., early concert goers are invited to hear the Woodwind Celebration chamber group in the lobby of the auditorium and enjoy complimentary coffee and refreshments.

Jack Mercer, known affectionately as "Your Friendly Band Director," was an accomplished band director, musician, writer, and iconic citizen of Ontario since 1958.  He was also the father of the Show Band and, several months before his untimely passing on August 26, 2014, he designed a program that was to be played by the Show Band after he was no longer with us.  The concert is the fruit of his labor, his last "Razzel Dazzel."

The concert repertoire appropriately features many trumpet solos.  It is the intent of the Show Band to recreate many of the musical moments shared with us through the years by Maestro Mercer.  The program opens with an exciting arrangement of "Strike Up the Band" featuring solo clarinetist and concertmaster Chris McAleer.  Vocalist Jim Bonner, a longtime member of the Show Band family, will sing Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies."  Two Show Band trumpeters, King Dalton and Mike Pfister, will perform a medley of two of Jack's favorite trumpet solos, Hoagy Carmicheal's haunting "Stardust" and the timeless "St. Louis Blues."  Joe Kolmel, retired Chaffey District Principal, will make his Show Band debut by singing "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing."

In 1945, Jack Mercer composed a trumpet solo entitled "A Flash of Light" that he performed at his graduate recital to earn his Masters Degree at Northwestern University.  The piece will be performed again by Jack's former student and Show Band trumpet player Larry Cariato.

Jack Mercer was Ontario's Music Man for over 50 years.  Therefore, no show involving Jack would complete without selections from "The Music Man."  Not many concertgoers would argue that Meredith Willson must have had Our Friendly Band Director in mind when he wrote the musical.  The exciting medley of songs will feature the outstanding musicians of the Show Band.

"Deep Purple" will be sung by Brian Detwiler, a long time member of the Show Band family.  Beth Mendoza will sing a slow swing version of "It Had To Be You," one of Maestro Mercer's all time favorite songs.  Jack has a great deal of respect for the music of Richard Rodgers and truly enjoyed the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music."  An exciting medley of its hits will feature Show Band Vocalist and trumpet player Taunia Falasca.

The Show Band paid tribute to Maestro Jack by dedicating its October 2011 concert to him.  One selection performed that evening entitled "Friends" was composed by current Show Band director Dr. Gabe Petrocelli.  The song tells a story of friendship between the two and was sung by Chaffey High School Director of Choral Music John Grover Lewis.  "Friends" will be performed once again by Mr. Lewis at the memorial concert.

Assistant Director and solo trumpeter Doug McKenna will be featured on "You Made Me Love You" another of Jack's all-time favorites.  Chris McAleer will sing "Over the Rainbow," the first song that Jack asked her to sing with the Show Band nearly twenty years ago.

At the funeral service for Maestro Mercer, Dr. Petrocelli composed a trumpet solo to pay homage to the memory of Ontario's famous music man.  The solo was performed by Larry Cariato.  He will repeat the performance on the memorial concert.  The concert ends, as will each concert this Show Band season, with "The Bandmaster" a concert march written by Dr. Petrocelli in tribute to Jack Mercer at the 2004 dedication ceremony of the Mercer Music Hall on the campus of Chaffey High School.

The Ontario Chaffey Community Show Band is under the direction of Dr. Gabe Petrocelli and assistant directors Douglas McKenna, Jr. and David Schaafsma.  For additional information regarding this performance or the Show Band's upcoming concert season, please check our website at


The community can also help support the Ontario Chaffey Community Show Band by becoming a patron of The Friends of the Ontario Chaffey Community Show Band Concert Society for $25.  Become a Bronze Baton donor for $50-$100; Steel Baton $150-$200; Silver Baton $250; Gold Baton $500; Platinum Baton $1,000 and Diamond Baton $2,500.  Individuals or businesses may also become a Show Sponsor for $5,000.  For more information on sponsoring a show, contact director Dr. Gabe Petrocelli at  All Donor names will be included on every program and our website for the entire concert season.  Baton and Show Sponsors will also receive complementary DVDs of each performance.  The Friends of the Ontario Chaffey Community Show Band is a registered charity under Internal Revenue Code Section 501 C (3).


Your Band Director,
Gabe Petrocelli

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