P O W E L L, W y o. - The Northwest College Studio Singers will open their season this year by opening for the 2008 Ronnie Bedford and Friends concert tour Oct. 7 and 8 in two Big Horn Basin communities and Billings, Mont.
On Tuesday, Oct. 7, the 14-member group performs at 11 a.m. at Billings West High school, followed by a 1:45 p.m. performance at Billings Skyview High School.
The singers return to Wyoming Wednesday, Oct. 8, for a 10 a.m. concert at Greybull High School, followed by a 2 p.m. program at Hot Springs County High School in Thermopolis.
Later that evening, they'll open again for Ronnie Bedford and Friends as part of Thermopolis' October Month of Music. The concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Hot Springs County High School Auditorium. Admission is$5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens.
Ronnie Bedford, a jazz drummer who spent most of his career on the east coast, called on local friends this year for his tour. Performing with him are Rob Rumbolz on trumpet, Craig Olson on sax and Jeff Troxel on guitar.
The Studio Singers will open with a lineup of familiar jazz standards that includes the likes of Frank Sinatra's "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "I Could Write a Book" by Rodgers and Hart. Also on the program is the ballad "If I Loved You" and a Steely Dan-type arrangement of the 1950s tune "Ruby Baby."
"This is a great opportunity for these singers to tour with jazz professionals," said Mike Masterson, the Studio Singers director and a professor of music at Northwest College. "They're mostly new this year and don't have a lot of experience, but they're learning fast by being pushed like this to get a program ready in such a short time. It's a nice challenge for them, and I think the audiences will be pleased by the result."