By Shelley Koppel
There's a Latin beat when the Melbourne Municipal Band performs "It Takes Two to Tango" on Nov. 16-17 at the Melbourne Auditorium.
Conductor Staci Cleveland said that putting together a program of Latin music was easy.
"We have a lot of music in our library which is Latin," she said. "We wanted a chance to feature it. Some of our favorite tunes are Latin and we often feature a piece. We wanted to explore the whole Latin genre.
One of the featured composers is Sammy Nestico.
"He is widely loved and we are doing an entire concert of his music in February," Ms. Cleveland said. "He has donated music for us to do it. He has written a lot of film and commercial music.
"People know his music but they don't know him. We are using his arrangement of 'Malaguena' in advance. It's my favorite thing on the program."
The program also includes "The March of Zacatecas," the Mexican equivalent of "The Stars and Stripes Forever."
"We will play the Mexican one and then the 'Stars and Stripes," Ms. Cleveland said. "It's the traditional end of our concerts and people would be sad if we didn't do that."
To keep the mood lively, the program also includes songs by the Miami Sound Machine.
A special feature on Nov. 16 is a pre-concert Latin dance demonstration, beginning at 7 p.m. and featuring Laura Beers and her dance team, Swing-n-Sync.
"We will do a salsa piece," Ms. Beers said. "Then we will probably give the audience instruction in the merengue. They can stay in place and wiggle in their chairs. It's just to have fun."
The conductor is also excited about the band's next program, a holiday concert called "A Starry Night," taking place on Dec. 14-15.
"It's called 'A Starry Night' because Capt. Winston Scott, the astronaut, will be our guest trumpet player. He's our star."
The Melbourne Municipal Band presents "It Takes Two to Tango" on Nov. 16-17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Melbourne Auditorium, 625 E. Hibiscus Blvd. The concerts are free and open to the public.
For more information, visit the website www.mmband.org.
For more information about dancer Laura Beers and Swing-n-Sync, visit the website www.adancersvoice.com.