4th annual Big Texas Swing School comes to Gainesville

By: Morgan Downing Email
By: Morgan Downing Email

GAINESVILLE, TX -- Texas swing music is a genre that's a century old. But now it's gaining popularity with a new generation, through a Texoma music camp.

In each room of the performing arts center at NCTC in Gainesville this week, you'll find young musicians of all types stringing their fiddles, strumming their guitars and belting out tunes.

They're all participating in the fourth annual Big Texas Swing School -- learning to play Texas swing music, also known as the original Texas music.

"It was kind of a joining of two genres of swing music, which was big band, and cowboy music, which was fiddle music," Dave Alexander said.

Executive Director Dave Alexander founded the Swing School, and don't be fooled, these students are no amateurs.

"I can play the fiddle, guitar, mandolin, drums, piano. I can play a lot," Colby Sheppard said.

The students range in age from 11 to 17. And like Colby Sheppard, most play several instruments. They work in different groups throughout the day. Then, once well-rehearsed, come together to make one big sound.

"It's not an easy music to play. It's not three-chord country song," Alexander said. "It's, there's a lot of chords. There's a lot of harmony. There's a lot, everybody has a lot of different jobs."

Each with a passion to bring this classic music to today's generation.

"I feel like it's my job and other kids job who are really interested in this music to keep it alive and bring it back," Mikky Daniel said.

"I think it's just great that the next generation of musicians are rising up and taking their place and making their mark in the world," Shannon Hall said.

Alexander says he couldn't be more proud of his students, and he has high hopes for all of them.

"My goal is for them to be able to learn to become a professional musician and when they do that, have all the tools they need to be very successful," he said.

If you'd like to see the students in action, they're performing on Saturday at the Performing Arts Center on NCTC campus at 1:00 pm.

It's free to the public.


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