Played like professionals . . .
I attended the band’s concert in the Big Tent at the 2022 Rochester International Jazz Festival [June 25, 2022]. Marcia Bornhurst Parkes’ leadership and direction brought music beyond my expectations. Her Melody Masters Big Band, mostly non-professional musicians, played like professionals. Well done, Marcia and the band! M.V.
The audience felt a personal connection . . .
A few years ago, while walking on East Avenue, in Rochester, NY from the nearby Park Avenue Festival, I happened upon the Melody Masters Big Band (MMBB) performing on the lawn near Asbury First United Methodist Church. The band’s music was magical and unusually smooth sounding. Since then, although interrupted by the pandemic, I have followed and enjoyed many other MMBB performances.
In June 2022, my friend and I attended a concert at the Fairport Gazebo, in Fairport, NY. After months of COVID restrictions, we were entertained with a beautiful program of professional-sounding music and thoughtful dialogue from Marcia Bornhurst Parkes, Melody Masters director. As always, Marcia created a concert theme and since we were approaching post-pandemic, it was appropriately named “Love, Healing and Hope™©”.
The director’s words, expressing a sense of relief and gratitude for the support of health care and essential workers and sympathy for those who had suffered or lost loved ones, were profound. She had the gazebo crowd spellbound as we reflected on the past years while listening to a wonderful selection of music. At one point, a band member alerted Marcia that another members’ wedding anniversary was that night. She responded warmly and called attention to his wife who sat near me. I felt then that the band seemed to function as a family, each considerate of others well-being and happiness and interests. At that moment, the audience felt a personal connection to the band. Marcia also invited the audience to attend their Rochester International Jazz Festival performance two days later as the last big band act of the Big Tent Series. Everything the band did warmed my heart, and it made me look forward to many more of their concerts. J.R.
The band was very professional sounding . . .
I have been attending Melody Masters Big Band Concerts for several years. The concerts get better and better as a result of Dr. Marcia Bornhurst Parkes’ exceptional leadership. Recently, I invited a few friends to attend the “TIME FOR LOVIN’” program at Asbury First United Methodist Church in Rochester, New York [September 26,2019]. The band was very professional sounding as Marcia directed band members, the soloists, as well as the audience during an engagement segment of the program. She had the audience in the palm of her hand. Marcia gave lessons to the audience as different pieces were played. Other times she shared something special about a soloist that had just performed. Two days after the concert I bumped into one of the adult children of senior adult friends that we invited to the concert. My friend told me that she had never heard her parents so excited about being at a concert. She wanted to know if she could hire the Melody Masters Big Band for a program at the company where she works. S. J. S.
A wonderful production . . .
The Melody Masters Big Band “Time for Lovin’” concert I attended on September 26, 2019 at Asbury First United Methodist Church, Rochester, NY, was a wonderful production. The selections have stood the test of time and spoke to all generations. Execution was spot on by the ensemble as well as by individual talent, which was spotlighted. The music director’s commentary included how each piece fit the theme of the concert: “Strong Relationships Enable Sparkling Performances”. The “Strong Relationships…” theme spoke to me as the music was created. It was not to be missed! Carey M.
It was a thrill for them . . .
Dr. Bornhurst Parkes did a wonderful job organizing the event [side-by side with the high school jazz band for the annual District Jazz Festival [April, 2018] and working with my students. It was a thrill for them to sit among a more mature group of musicians with a totally different list of experiences and play the same music. Excellent experience. Kevin Meade, Band and Jazz Ensemble Director, Churchville-Chili High School, Churchville, NY.
Always met our expectations . . .
The Melody Masters Big Band has been performing for the Episcopal Senior Life Communities at Seabury Woods for the last 8-9 years. The band is what makes a celebration, and Marcia and the band have always met our expectations. Residents and their families look forward to our annual end of summer party every year. A large part of its success is due to the Melody Masters Big Band. Thank you for doing such an awesome job!! M. W., Director of Resident Services.
. . . helped make the event a success!
I would like to thank you and your band for the wonderful entertainment you provided to our Veterans [August, 2017]. I am especially thankful for your time and efforts in review of the fine details to ensure the event would be a success. The live music was enjoyed by everyone in attendance. Thank you for sharing your time and talent with our Veterans, caregivers, and staff. Your participation helped make the event a success! I really appreciate all of Marcia Bornhurst Parkes’ time, planning and communication to ensure a successful event. The Veterans and their family members really enjoyed the band. The band made the occasion very special and memorable. Melissa M.
It was such a high quality performance . . .
Our residents remember the swing era so well and love hearing the familiar melodies. It was such a high quality performance [Feb., 2019], and Marcia’s comments helped them to remember times past, dancing, and enjoying the music. They were drawn in and enjoyed it very much. S. B., Director of Activities, Fairport Baptist Home.
Great connection with the audience . . .
We loved your program [March 2019]! Excellent choice of music and great connection with the audience. Many good comments were offered by Brickstone residents. T. N., Community Life Specialist, Rochester, NY.
Impressive quality of performance . . .
Music from the Big Band era has always been a favorite of mine. I attended a concert presented by the Melody Masters Big Band at Asbury First United Methodist Church [Rochester, NY] in June, 2018, and thoroughly enjoyed an evening of wonderful music. A variety of tunes and styles were featured and these showcased an impressive quality of performance by the musicians, including excellent solos, under the direction of Dr. Marcia Bornhurst Parkes. The wonderful rapport between musicians and their outstanding director, along with their obvious enjoyment of performing, was inspiring. Dr. Parkes’ commentary and connection with the audience truly enhanced the evening. This event was a musical treat for the ears and the heart! Liz.
As a music educator, I was thrilled . . .
The Melody Masters Big Band, what a wonderful opportunity for a group of musicians to share their life-long commitment to an activity they love doing, playing music. The evening concert [June, 2018] at Asbury First church [Rochester, NY] seemed a little extra special that night. You could feel it in the air, see it in the pride of musicians and hear it in the performance. As a music educator, I was thrilled to see music as a life-long experience in action. Bravo and looking forward to your next performance. Amy.
These musicians are truly masters of melody . . .
In June, 2018, a friend and I attended our first Melody Masters concert held at Asbury First United Methodist Church [Rochester, NY]. It was evident from the beginning that these musicians are truly masters of melody. One wished the performance could continue into the wee hours. This is a talented and dedicated group of musicians who perform out of love for music. D. S.
A very enjoyable way to spend an evening . . .
I thoroughly enjoyed the Melody Masters Big Band concert in June, 2018. The director and band members put on a very professional program. Selections included many old favorites, which brought back pleasant memories. Many of us in the audience couldn’t help tapping our feet, and you could tell the band was enjoying sharing the music with the audience as much as the audience was enjoying listening. A very enjoyable way to spend an evening. C.A.W.