It’s All About the Green at St. Patty’s Day Swing

It’s All About the Green at St. Patty’s Day Swing at Kettle Run on March 17!

We won’t need the luck of the Irish to have a swinging good time at the dance hall at Kettle Run High School on St. Patrick’s Day! On Saturday, March 17, the Silver Tones Swing Band will be the featured entertainment at a swing dance fundraiser benefiting the Kettle Run band program. The evening will start with a complimentary dance lesson by swing dance enthusiast, Valerie Pyle. Valerie will show novice swing dancers how to get started in a 30-minute swing dance lesson. Beginner dancers are welcome, and you don’t need to have a partner to attend. “The Silver Tones Swing Band and their vocalists are great entertainment, but they are even more fun for dancing,” Valerie says. “Swing dancing is a fun, partner dance with a basic step that is easy to learn and will keep you moving and smiling. All you need is a willingness to give it a try. You learn the basic steps and then let the music and your own style guide you from there. On the swing dance floor, you may find dancers from 19 to 90. Swing dancing is a great way to exercise your mind and your body.”

Guests are encouraged to come dressed in green and enjoy the energy and fun the evening is sure to bring. This is the third year the Silver Tones have donated a performance to benefit the Kettle Run band program. Over three years, the Silver Tones have raised over $10,000 to help the band programs in Fauquier County (with dances at Liberty High School as well). Other dance themes have included a ’50s sock hop and a 1940s WWII dance. What better way to raise money, than enjoying great American big band music from the 1930s to the 1960s?

The Silver Tones are excited to have three Kettle Run band students participate in the performance. The three students will sit side-by-side with the Silver Tones and will attend three rehearsals with the band at their normal rehearsal spot in Warrenton. This year’s students, chosen by Kettle Run’s director of bands, Liz Deavers, are Patrick Smith on alto sax, Abby Darcy on trumpet, and Robbie Platt on trombone. Patrick Smith, in his junior year at Kettle Run, will be featured during the show on alto saxophone and has worked with the Silver Tones at previous performances. Patrick will be playing Count Basie’s famous rendition of Lonely Street, a sultry slow number sure to get all the dancers on the floor. Patrick was chosen to be in the Virginia All-State Band and Jazz Ensemble in 2017. When asked about his musical experience, Patrick expressed, “Music, a language that everyone understands regardless of where they are from, has spoken to me in ways I once thought inconceivable. In my high school career, I have developed a greater fondness for music. One of my musical aspirations has been to play with a local jazz band. Performing with the Silver Tones has made me happier and better as a player. Music is intrinsic to my very being, and I’m grateful to all the wonderful people I have met through music.”

The Kettle Run band boosters play an important role in the planning and organization of the dance. They will be serving lots of festive, fun snacks on March 17, in addition to green drinks. All refreshments are included in the low admission of $10 per person. Mindi O’Connor, band booster president, says “We are very fortunate to welcome the talented and fun Silver Tones Swing Band for the third year in a row at our St. Patty’s Day Swing Dance! They are such a gift to us and to the community! They perform at this event for free, to promote the Fine Arts. We all truly looking forward to this event. The funds raised this year will help us with the purchase of new concert uniforms and to pay for guest clinicians to come and work with our young musicians.”

On the night of the dance, there will be a raffle with great prizes for just $1 a ticket. Prizes will include gift cards to local restaurants, gift baskets, and a chance to sing a song with the band. Also included in the fun will be a limbo contest to Irish music, two hours of live music by the 17-piece Silver Tones, a dance lesson at 7 pm, special guest performances, and so much more! There will be plenty of seating for patrons who just want to listen to the great sounds of the Silver Tones and watch the dancing. Admission to the dance is just $10 at the door, age 14 and up (ages 14, 15, and 16 will need a signed permission slip, available at the welcome desk).

Kettle Run High School is located at 7403 Academic Avenue in Nokesville, VA. Visit for updates.

–By Wendy Martin-Shuma

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