Greetings! Thank you for discovering the website for the Melody Masters Big Band.
It was a pleasure to serve the Melody Masters Big Band during my tenure as the music director from January, 2016 to May, 2023.
This website is an archive of the work and success that the band and I accomplished during my tenure as their leader.
Dr. Marcia Bornhurst Parkes
Our mission is to serve and inspire audiences
through high quality performances of big band and jazz ensemble repertoire.
About the Band
The Melody Masters Big Band engages music-loving audiences at music festivals, private and public community events, and for businesses or schools throughout the nine county Rochester, NY region.
The band performs for benefits and social occasions, side-by-side events with school music ensembles, town recreation programs, and adult living venues, among others. Melody Masters’ musicians are avid performers with diverse careers and experience, some with professional training in music. This 17-piece band brings it on home with heart while performing high-quality classic repertoire including fresh arrangements of big band standards, and by honoring the legends of Basie, Dorsey, Ellington, Miller, Sinatra, and many others.
About Our Music Director
An insightful conductor, Dr. Marcia Bornhurst Parkes creates a bond between audiences and every ensemble that she leads through engaging concerts that feature inspiring repertoire and meaningful commentary. Marcia succeeds in bringing people together for a common purpose.
In 2019, she led the Melody Masters Big Band in a performance for the Jazz 90.1 live, On-air Broadcast Series and for the Welcome Home Honor Flight program for area veterans at the Rochester (NY) International Airport. Her collaboration with Lovin’ Cup Bistro and Brews, the Rochester Education Foundation, and Jazz 90.1 Radio led to a two-set concert to benefit Rochester (NY) City School students. Guest performers included Nancy Boone-Bahr (baritone saxophone), and Clay Jenkins (trumpet) and Mark Kellogg (trombone), Rochester area jazz professionals and faculty at The Hochstein School, and the Eastman School of Music, respectively.
While leading the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth Music Department she directed the University Jazz Ensemble, and while chair of the Eastman School of Music New Horizons Program she directed the New Horizons Big Band in Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival performances in 2008, 2009, and 2010, a two-set concert at The Smith Opera House in Geneva, NY in 2010, and concerts at senior adult venues, schools, and for private events.
Through her consulting practice, Insightful Music Leadership, Marcia supports the professional music and business communities. She provides guest conducting, consulting, and professional development services in the areas of leadership, engagement – particularly service-learning, musicianship, and performance anxiety. She gives presentations for national, state, and regional professional music associations, as well as schools and businesses. Marcia holds three degrees in music education: the Ph.D. and M. M. from the Eastman School of Music and the B. M. from Ithaca College. For more information please go to: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mbparkes
How to Engage the Band
- Please read this website thoroughly.
- Complete and submit the contact form.
- Schedule a 30 – 45 minute on-site visit with our music director.
- Meet to discuss logistics, venue requirements, and production and marketing aspects.
- Follow-up with the music director within 1-2 weeks. Should you desire to engage the band, kindly allow sufficient lead time. This is usually 4- 6 months prior to your desired date.
- Agree to meet the expectations for hosting the band.
Rochester International Jazz Festival, Big Tent Venue, Main Street, Rochester, NY, June 25, 2022, one hour
Jazz Radio 90.1 FM, WGMC, Greece, NY
Live On-Air Series: Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 7 – 8 PM
Recorded live at Jazz 90.1 studios
Fairport Baptist Home, Fairport, NY, February 18, 2019, one set
The Brickstone at St. Johns, Rochester, NY, March 11, 2019, one set
Honor Flight Welcome Home event for area veterans
ROC International Airport, Rochester, NY, April 7, 2019, 3 sets
“Lovin’ Education” Benefit Concert
Lovin’ Cup Bistro and Brews, Rochester, NY
April 28, 2019, 6:00 – 8:30 PM, two sets
This benefit was a collaboration initiated by the Melody Masters Big Band. Partners included the Rochester Education Foundation (REF) and Lovin’ Cup Bistro and Brews. Jazz soloists included Nancy Boone-Bahr, baritone saxophone, and Mark Kellogg, trombone and Clay Jenkins, trumpet, faculty at The Hochstein School and the Eastman School of Music, respectively. All funds raised were directed to support summer music lessons for needy students in the Rochester (NY) City School District (RCSD). Used instruments which were collected were repaired and donated to RCSD students.
Fairport Baptist Home Fairport, NY, May 9, 2019, one set
Seabury Woods, Episcopal Senior Life, Gates, NY, Seabury Community Block Party, September 14, 2019, 11:55 AM – 1:45 PM, two sets
Asbury First United Methodist Church
“Time for Lovin’” Benefit Concert
The benefit concert supported church ministries in the areas of food, clothing, and wellness.
September 26, 2019
7:00 – 8:30 PM, two sets
Perinton Recreation and Parks, Perinton, NY
55+ Dinner Dance Series
October 24, 2018 5:00 – 7:15 PM, two sets
Seabury Woods, Episcopal Senior Life, Gates, NY
Seabury Community Block Party, September 8, 2018, 12 noon – 2:15 PM, two sets
Asbury First United Methodist Church, Rochester, NY
“Love n’ Blues” Concert: June 19, 2018, 7:00 – 8:30 PM, two sets
Churchville Chili Central School District, Churchville, NY
District Jazz Festival
Featuring the Melody Masters Big Band and a combined performance with the
Churchville-Chili High School Swingin’ Saints Jazz Ensemble., April 13, 2018, 7 PM
Fairport Baptist Home, Fairport, NY, February 12, 2018, one set
The Brickstone at St. Johns, Rochester, NY, February 11, 2018, one set
We look forward to serving and inspiring audiences in your community.
Thank you for visiting our website.
Dr. Marcia Bornhurst Parkes
Music Director, Melody Masters Big Band