The USAO ShowBand combines blues, big band, pop and more with its annual spring concert April 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Te Ata Memorial Auditorium. Special guest jazz guitarist Clint Strong joins the student band during the evening. The concert is free and open to the public.

USAO ShowBand Teams up with Jazz Guitarist for Spring Concert

Friday, April 4, 2008

CHICKASHA -- In its tradition of featuring guest musicians, the USAO ShowBand is hosting jazz guitarist Clint Strong during its annual spring concert April 11 at the University of Science and Arts. The dynamic concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Te Ata Memorial Auditorium.

" While we celebrate the 100th anniversary of USAO, we are bringing in the future with a song in our heart," said Donna Settlemires, assistant director of the ShowBand. " We want to share this wonderful event with everyone, so come out and join us and be prepared to leave with a song in your heart."

Over the past few years, the USAO ShowBand has gained a reputation for combining pop, blues, big band, jazz and country styles into soulful and energetic performances.

Musical selections for the spring concert include " Blue Skies," " Lullaby of Broadway," " Can't Buy Me Love" and more. The concert is free and open to the public.

Special guest guitarist Clint Strong is scheduled to join the student band, which features brass, rhythm section, drums and five vocalists. According to Settlemires, Strong is known nationally for " youthful, modern explorations" in jazz guitar improvisations. Strong has performed and recorded with numerous jazz and country artists, including Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Red Garland and fellow guitarists Howard Roberts, Herb Ellis and Tal Farlow.

A free improvisational guitar clinic taught by Strong is scheduled for 1-2 p.m. April 11 in Station 82, the basement of the USAO Student Center. The clinic is open to the public.

" We invite all musicians, young and old, to attend both the clinic and the show," Settlemires said.

Under the direction of guitarist Joe Settlemires, the youngest surviving member of the Texas Playboys, the ShowBand has performed across the state as ambassadors to USAO over the past five years. A noted musician in his own right, Settlemires has been inducted into four musical halls of fame, including three western swing organizations. Settlemires arranges all the music and directs the ShowBand with the assistance of his wife, Donna.

Last spring, the ShowBand released its first CD, an album recorded and produced in Nashville by Bradley. The CD is for sale in the USAO Bookstore for $15.

In August, the ShowBand is scheduled to perform at the Newcastle Education Banquet for the third consecutive year.