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Clayton Community Big Band prepping for holiday show

So, of whom is Santa Clause probably a bigger fan? Count Basie, or Glenn Miller?

Unless a person is willing to stay up all night on Christmas Eve to ask the jolly, fat man in person, the world may never know.

But, what could be determined fairly soon in the Southern Crescent is which band leader local big band enthusiasts prefer.

The Clayton Community Big Band, which operates under the auspices of Clayton State University's Department of Visual & Performing Arts, is slated to hold its first-ever, free, all-holiday music concert, entitled, "The Season Swings: Jazz Twists on Holiday Music," on Nov. 28, at 7:30 p.m.

The concert is scheduled to take place at the Spivey Hall concert facility, on Clayton State's main campus, in Morrow.

"Of all the many requests we receive from band members, audiences, and the Clayton State University community, the suggestion for an entire program of Christmas music continues to ring the loudest," said Clayton Community Big Band Director Stacey Houghton, in a written statement.

"We are happy to oblige with a concert that includes not only Christmas melodies, but also other music suitable for the upcoming winter solstice," he added.

Eighteen of the band's 24 members are from Clayton and Henry counties, according to a news release from Clayton State. The membership of the 11-year-old band is comprised of Clayton State music students, and local volunteer musicians.

The band's selection of songs for the concert is expected to mainly come from modern big band composers, including Tom Kubis, Gordon Goodwin and John Clayton, but Houghton is also expected to contribute some original pieces, according to a news release from Clayton State.

"The music is all steeped within the many styles of the jazz tradition [including] swing, funk, ballads, and contemporary idioms," said Houghton. "The evening should lift the spirit of the season and be fun for the entire family."

But, it still doesn't tell us if Santa would rather have Basie's "One O'Clock Jump," or Miller's "Pennsylvania 6-5000" on his iPod. Then again, perhaps that is a secret destined to stay with him, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph and the elves.