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Starlight Band Bringing Big Sound to REC Day I


f members of Northeast Oklahoma Electric Co- operative needed another reason to get excited about REC Day, they’ll certainly have one this year. A piece of Oklahoma’s unique musical history will be on display when the acclaimed Starlight Band takes the stage at the Grove Civic Center on Saturday, September 20, during the cooperative’s 76th annual meeting.


NEOEC members are sure to be thrilled and perhaps a bit overwhelmed by the big sound generated by Oklahoma’s only professional concert band -- and one of only a handful of professional concert bands in the United States.


Starlight Band has been in existence since 1947. The band premiered as a continuation of the Depres- sion-era Works Progress Administration concerts. Performances have always been free to the public.


“Our mission is to provide quality, live music to the largest possible audiences,” explained Starlight executive director and spokesperson Wendy Smith. “We accomplish this mission, in part, by producing a series of summer concerts each year in Tulsa.”


Starlight performances have entertained audiences across the state.


“Our patrons include arts foundations, such as the Oklahoma Arts Council, private foundations, corpo- rations, and individuals,” Smith said. “Their ongoing


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support has made Starlight one of the oldest per- forming institutions in the state.”


The Starlight ensemble includes woodwinds, brass and percussion. Band members are profession- al musicians who earn their livelihood in music by performing, teaching and judging contests. Many of the band’s more than 50 members can also be heard playing in Signature Symphony, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and the Bartlesville Symphony.


Starlight Band performs music ranging from light classics and patriotic songs to jazz, Broadway and current pop selections.


“There is something for everyone at each concert and we guarantee we’ll get your feet tapping,” said Smith. ■


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