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NMJC Band + Vocalists + Broadway Show Tunes = Entertainment

4/16/2008 2:55:19 p.m. - Hobbs, NM. For the first time ever, New Mexico Junior College's Community Band, the singing Sensations and the Ultra-Tsonics, along with the Lea County Homeschool Choir and the newly formed NMJC Percussion Ensemble, will combine to bring an afternoon of entertainment to the community.

On Sunday, April 27 at 3:00 pm, these talented groups will come together under the direction of Dr. Yau-Sun Wong and present a big band-style exhibition of favorite Americana songs. One of the Band's performances will be A Salute to Spike Jones, which intermits spoken comedy within music.

NMJC music instructor Anne Turner Tsonis and adjunct music instructor Gael Patman will also act as directors. Tsonis brings her two singing groups, the Sensations and the Ultra-Tsonics, to unite with the instrumental Community Band in performing several pieces from musicals such as The Music Man and West Side Story.

Teaming up with the Band once again will be the Lea County Home School Choir singing America the Beautiful and What a Wonderful World. Gael Patman and her Percussion ensemble will make their stage debut with a song called Bossa Novacaine.
In addition to the musical focus of the event, costumes will be implemented to heighten the big band atmosphere. Along with musical direction, Tsonis is in charge of costuming and staging. She believes this "accessorizing" will make it even more fun for the audience.

Complimenting the staging and performers will be a new lighting and sound system mastered by Don Williams of Q Systems and Ben Ruth.

The Community Band is comprised of 37 members whose talents also cross over into singing, something both Wong and Tsonis are proud of. Wong estimates that the band is made up of approximately two-thirds community members and one-third students, with age groups ranging from high school through seniors. Besides their campus performances, which often draw a full house, the Band plays for the NMJC's and the CSW's graduations, as well as community and church events.

Community Band members include Ross Strickland, Lou Gilless, Don Robinson, Fran Morris, Karen Shaw, Ruth Wong, Daniel Villalobos Andrea Cairnes, Raina Jackson, Roseanne Welch, Harold Shaw, Bree Anne Harwerth, Shelby Sager, Jay Patton, Zayra Burciaga, Barbara Gilbert, Junior Tovar, Yolanda Jurado, Ben Ruth, Don Cole, Bubba Wood, Harold Brown, Brenna Lloyd, Chad Henry, Ray Brown, Ted Smith, Mark Davey, Sharon Clark, John Gilbert, David Payne, Brandon Johnson, Wayne Sager, Brandi Campbell. Gael Patman, Mark Jimenez, P J Ferguson, and Reuben Calzada.

The Sensations and Ultra-Tsonics consist of a total of 17 members, most of which are students, though there are several from the community. Many of them also transition over to instruments. Tsonis formed the Ultra-Tsonics in 2005 and took on the NMJC Sensations this semester. She is pleased with the upcoming performance because it provides an opportunity for the singers to perform with a live band.

The Sensations include Edward Bolton, Jeffrey Heinz, Denise Lemery, Andy Lewis, Caitlin McCulloch, Alexandra Montanez, Anna Palma, Ben Ruth and Daniel Williams.

The Ultra-Tsonics are comprised of Rosalyn Brickman, Heather Bunnell, Brandi Campbell, Cecily Coleman, Sarah Granado, Monica Hoecker, Mark Jiminez, and Brandon Johnson.

The debuting Percussion Ensemble is made up of 7 members, all of who also play in the Community band. They are Brandon Johnson, Ray Brown, Zayra Burciaga, P J Ferguson, Reuben Calzada and Denise Lemery.

The Lea County Homeschool Choir has 29 members ranging in age from kindergarten through high school. This choir was established in the fall of 2007 under the volunteer tutoring of Wong. They meet weekly for choir practice along with the option of instrumental tutoring by an NMJC student majoring in music.

The Lea County Homeschool Choir members include John Ross McCulloch, Heidi McCulloch, Bryan Thrash, Brent Thrash, Rachel Ursanic, Rachel Stephenson, Michaela Fragale, Cory Fragale, Todd Collins, Nathan Collins, Shawn Collins, Joshua Goad, Madeleine Granath, Abby Granath, Linnea Hagler, Taylor Garza, Tamia Garza, Austin Krekula, Robin Krekula, Sierra Bayes, John Dee Coady Simms, Debora Barnett, Lori McCulloch, Maggi Cargile, Tammi Collins, and Tracy Fragale.

The performance will be in the NMJC Watson Hall Auditorium on Sunday, April 27 at 3:00 in the afternoon so that students and families can attend. This event is open to the public. Tickets will be available at the door. The price is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors, and students may attend for free.

For more information, contact Dr. Yau-Sun Wong at 575.492.2844 or

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