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Sedona Fourth of July celebrates citys centennial
by Marion Herrman

Light the candles and bring out the cake! Combining Sedonas 100th Centennial birthday with Americas 226th, a huge celebration will take place July 4 at the Georgia Frontiere Pavilion of the Sedona Cultural Park. Free to the public (except for on-site parking charges), the event will be co-produced by the Sedona Centennial Committee, Sedona Oak Creek Canyon Lions Club, and Sedona Cultural Park and promises to be a blast!

Starting at 5:00 p.m., constant music, with appearances on the grand Pavilion stage by such local favorites as Joe Palmers Youth Band, Jeannie Carroll and the Sedona Concert Band with a rousing audience sing-a-long, the Canyon Singers, Red Rock Echoes Barbershop Quartet, Native American Dancers and all of Sedonas beloved Grannies topped off by the popular Sammy Davis. Emceeing the proceedings will be two of Sedonas most erudite and mellow-voiced Johns John Conway and John Wade.

Joe Palmers Youth Band is well known in the area. Comprised of talented 12 to 19 year old students who play on a solidly professional level, this swinging big band has delighted audiences whenever they have performed in such places as Disneyland, Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Santa Fe, and various jazz festivals and community events. Conductor and coach, Joe Palmer, has a prestigious history in the music industry and credits ranging from the big band era, ABC network staff to presently fronting the Glenn Miller Alumni Orchestra. Palmers not-for-profit young band has provided musical experience and opportunities to a vast number of students, besides bringing new-found and nostalgic joy to their audiences.

Founder and Director Sandy Reids Canyon Singers enjoy a reputation for fine community choral performances. Sponsored by the Adult Community Center of Sedona, this group of men and women have been exploring the musical spectrum for more than a decade. With their accompanist, Kathie Jossie, they have entertained at major community events, retirement centers and formal concerts and are much in demand.

Red Rock Echoes is one of the many quartets formed from the chorus Harmony on the Rocks. This chorus is the newly formed Sedona Chapter of SPEBSQSA (Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of BarberShop Quartet Singing in America). Under the direction of lead singer Charlie Lyman, the quartet is comprised of Eric Williams (tenor), Tom Doeller (baritone), and Don Tautkus (bass). The sound is strictly a capella, with no need for instruments.

There will be a plethora of Grannies to entertain one and all. Ranging from 57 to 85 years old and sponsored by the Adult Community Center of Sedona, the original Red Rockin Grannies have been kicking up their heels for almost 13 years. They have appeared regularly in the St. Patricks Day Parade, at the Tlaquepaque Fiesta and Luminaria celebrations, the Sedona Winds Retirement Community and many other events.

Pamela Zahnzinger has been their choreographer and her talents range from ballet, tap, jazz, African dance, to todays cool hip hop. Author and Director Bobby Leahys premiere senior performing troupe is comprised of dancers, ranging in age from 53 through 80. The Grannies on the Rocks with their Sugar Daddies have been singing and dancing their way into thousands of hearts for the past 12 years. Leahy has produced nine musical comedies and the Senior Awards Dance Revue and Competition for eight years.

No one ever goes away disappointed from watching a Grannies on the Rocks with their Sugar Daddies performance. Their shows are packed with everything that makes an evening of entertainment a unique experience.

Sedonas own Concert Band, directed by John Fifield, will play a program of music designed to work the audience into a patriotic fervor, leading to a community sing of traditional sing-along tunes. Created in 1976 by Victor Sterzing to provide a quality concert band for the Verde Valley area and, in addition, promote musical education in local schools, the Sedona Concert Bands versatility has proven to be a boon to the Verde Valley. Its appearances at many parks, City Plaza, retirement homes and innumerable other venues have always been enjoyed.

And how can you say too much about Jeannie Carroll? Vocalist, teacher, director of musical shows, karaoke presenter, D.J., M.C., and wedding planner, Carroll will again be singing with the Concert Band and leading the sing-a-long in her own inimitable manner.

The dynamic Sammy Davis will involve the audience with his warm personality and wide variety of musical styles from the 60s through the 90s. Having performed the nightclub circuit from Las Vegas to Atlantic City and throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, Davis has appeared with the Emotions, Bill Cosby, Fats Domino, The Temptations, Paul Revere and The Raiders, Mary Wilson and The Supremes, Chubby Checkers, The Coasters, and The Drifters. The only act that will be able to follow him will be the pyrotechnical display.

As if all this were not enough, a raffle will be awarded with fabulous prizes, food concessions will be available, plus an audience Parade of Costumes depicting Sedonas history or Americas patriotic spirit, with prizes for the best and most original costumes (young and old).

The celebratory bash culminates with the Lions Club annual aerial or ground display of fireworks (depending on forest conditions) at 10:00 p.m.

Parking passes will be sold for $5 each after June 25 at Tlaquepaque and Bashas. All vehicles entering the parking area will need a pass to gain admittance.

The Lions, The Centennial Committee, and Sedona Cultural Park invite one and all, locals and visitors, to their Grand Fourth of July/Sedona Centennial Birthday Party. Its sure to be a fun-filled afternoon and evening in the good old American tradition.

For more information, call Dr. Serge Wright: 282-4126, Josif Bean: 282-0122, or Jim Graif: 204-5672.

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