Ontario Chaffey Community Show Band June 2023 Concert Will Commemorate Mercer

The musicians of the Ontario Chaffey Community Show Band and Gary & Miriam Keith are proud to present the “Centennial Tribute to Jack Mercer” on Monday June 19, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. in Gardiner W. Spring Auditorium located on the campus of Chaffey High School, 1250 N. Euclid Ave. in Ontario. Early concert goers are invited to arrive at 7:00 p.m. to be entertained by the “Woodwind Celebration” ensemble in the lobby while enjoying complimentary coffee and cookies. The performance is FREE to the public.
R. Jack Mercer came to Ontario, California in 1957 to work as the director of bands and instrumental music at Chaffey High School. He was a pioneer in hosting an annual parade and field tournament in Ontario, the first of its kind in the Inland Valley. In 1966, his band was selected to perform at the Coliseum for the halftime show at the Pro Bowl. Since his arrival to Ontario, Jack had an influence on nearly every band director in the Inland Valley. Also, he authored several books designed to help directors become successful in building and maintaining effective band programs.After his retirement from education in 1985, Jack founded and directed the Chaffey Ontario Community Show Band for the next 26 years. His tireless efforts to give back to his community has resulted in yearly concert series provided free of cost to the citizens of Ontario and surrounding communities.
Jack Mercer was recognized throughout Southern California as an icon in music education. To acknowledge the man and his contributions to the arts for over a half-century, the City of Ontario named a bandstand located on Euclid Avenue and “C” Street in his honor. In addition, the band building on the campus of Chaffey High School was re-named the Jack Mercer Music Hall.
The Show Band will present a repertoire of Jack Mercer’s favorite songs. The performance will begin with the Chaffey High School fight song, composed by Jack when he became the school’s band director. It will be conducted by Assistant Director Pat Arnold who was one of Jack’s students. Mike Pfister will perform a trumpet solo in “You Made Me Love You.” Trumpeter Larry Cariato will be featured on a special presentation of Jack’s original composition entitled “A Flash of Light.” He wrote the piece in 1947 as a graduate project for his Masters Degree. Larry will perform the solo on a trumpet gifted to him by Maestro Mercer. Dancer Kathy Soderlund will dance to “Tea For Two.” Two of Jack’s favorite singers were Marilynne Sherwood and Brian Detwiler. Marilynne will sing “June In January,” “You’ll Never Know,” and “That Old Black Magic.” Brian will be featured on “Bali Ha’i,” “Autumn Leaves,” and “The Way You Look Tonight.” John Holguin will sing “All The Things You Are” and Francisco Mowatt will perform a violin solo to “On The Sunny Side of the Street.” Two of Jack’s most favorite songs were “Stardust,” which will feature trumpet soloist Steve Collins, and “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” with tenor saxophone soloist Pat Arnold. The outstanding musicians of the Show Band will be highlighted on “The Bandmaster,” written in 2004 by Gabe Petrocelli for Maestro Mercer at the dedication of the Jack Mercer Music Hall.
The performance will be narrated by “The Friends of Ontario Chaffey Community Show Band” Board members Gary Keith and Dr. Kern Oduro.
The evening’s entertainment is intended to be a fitting and memorable celebration in a centennial tribute to Ontario’s Music Man-Maestro Jack Mercer. A special appeal is made to music aficionados to have them to invite family and friends. Support for the Show Band can be made by feeding the Hungry Tuba located in the lobby of the auditorium. The concert will be broadcast on local Ontario cable Channel 3. Check your cable listings for the date and time.

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