A message from the Hot Springs Concert Band...
Well, the concert so many of us had been waiting months for has come and gone. However, the memories of this wonderful afternoon of great music will live on for many years to come. Dr. Doreen Ketchens, nicknamed "Lady Louis" because of her ability to hit and hold powerful high notes and because of her love of Louis Armstrong's performance style, did not disappoint and brought the house down at the Woodlands Auditorium on Sunday, October 15.
With such high expectations building from months of anticipation, Doreen still managed to exceed even those expectations with three phenomenal performances of “When the Saints Go Marching In,” “Amazing Grace” and “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.” Most of us are probably familiar with these classics, but never before had I heard such moving renditions of these – and very likely will never again – unless of course I witness another of her live performances. I’ve no doubt that everyone there has the same opinion.
Since the concert, the accolades have been rolling in from various sources, through personal accounts and social media – not only for Doreen but for the Hot Springs Concert Band itself. Some who attended the concert understandably did so primarily on the rave reviews and notoriety of Doreen Ketchens. Having not attended many if any of the band concerts in times past, Sunday’s performance with Doreen revealed to new concert goers just what a good, musically sound community band our area of the state is blessed with.
The concert also had a somber moment. One of the band’s own, Mr. Ken Williams, was honored posthumously for his 20 years of faithful service to the Hot Springs Concert Band as a trombonist, associate conductor and dear friend. Ken died in April 2022 when he stopped along Interstate 30 to help extract a family from their car after they had been struck by another vehicle. He saved the lives of a grandmother and her grandchild before he was hit in the head by a flying hubcap from a passing car. Ken died as he lived: helping others. There is no greater love than this, that a person will lay down his life for his friends – even friends he didn’t even know. Ken’s family was recognized and honored, and his wife was presented with a bouquet. A special award of honor and gratitude to Ken from the band was also presented to his family. Thank you, Ken!
In early November, the band will begin preparing for its annual Christmas concert. The Christmas concert is almost always a sell-out, so folks are encouraged to purchase tickets as soon as they go on sale, which should be no later than mid-November. It will be fun and festive and provide a wide variety of music, from traditional to contemporary songs of the season. The concert will be held on Thursday evening, December 14, at 7 p.m. at the Woodlands Auditorium in Hot Springs Village. Tickets will be $15 and can be purchased at hotspringsvillage.thundertix.com or from band members.