SPRING HILL — It is a union that is sure to create beautiful music.
The Hernando Jazz Society, which recently wrapped up its season of jams and shows, recently approached the folks at Stage West Community Playhouse with the idea of putting on a concert at the theater.
"This is our first effort in joining forces with Stage West," said Eddie Lawrence, president of the Jazz Society. "They have been very receptive and cooperative with us."
The concert, at 2 p.m. Sunday, will feature big band music and pop tunes from that era, plus Latin, Dixieland and jazz. There also will be special songs for Memorial Day.
"We're going to run the whole gamut," Lawrence said, "and honor and pay tribute to those (soldiers) who made this all possible."
Lawrence said the concert will give Jazz Society members a platform to have their music heard outside the monthly jams.
"We wanted to do something in a concert setting where people can just sit and hear how really good these people are," he said.
Lawrence said the show will feature all Jazz Society members. Special guests will include vocalists Janet Breithaupt, Kim Evans, Lorri Hafer and Lawrence himself, as well as Norm Bernard on trumpet and Barry Titone on tenor saxophone.
The audience will hear a variety of familiar tunes, such as Beyond the Sea, The House I Live In, When the Saints Go Marching In, Can't Give You Anything But Love, Almost Like Being in Love, The Best is Yet to Come, For Once in My Life and God Bless the Child.
"There will be some old tunes, New Orleans style, in the first set," said program director Nelson Dellamaggiore, including Basin St. Blues and When You're Smiling.
Dellamaggiore said the concert will open with Just a Closer Walk with Thee, sung by Lawrence, Hafer, Evans and Breithaupt, which will be in memory of those who died for the country. The four also will close the show with the Louis Armstrong hit What a Wonderful World.
Although the Jazz Society's regular season and this concert offer opportunities for musicians to perform and enthusiasts a chance listen to their favorite tunes, Lawrence stressed that the main focus is to raise money for student scholarships.
Typically, three scholarships are offered each year. However, at this year's final jam session, the society awarded scholarships to seven students, totaling $2,500. Winners ranged from students in ninth grade through 12th grades: Matt Dawson who plays marimba; violinist Nina Morales, and vocalists Megan Berube, Jessica Doolittle, John Rudell, Danielle Lips and Daniela Serricchio.
Scholarships were made possible by membership dues and ticket sales to the monthly jams. Proceeds from Sunday's concert also will go toward scholarships.
"We have a very supportive membership," Lawrence said. "Some have been with us 14, 15 years, and really support our efforts for the scholarship fund."