Lunch with the Arts says: Play it again!

Published 9:06 am Monday, December 19, 2016


Contributing writer

Maybe it’s cold outside but the Community Arts Center is hoping you’ll drop inside on Wednesday when the Young at Heart Big Band turns up the heat. This marks the second year in a row the band comes to Danville with their own brand of swing music from the 40s era.

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They may be called young at heart, but here is the kicker — the band members’ average age is 80 years and counting.  That doesn’t prevent them, however, from raising the roof when it comes to their music.

“We are so excited to have the band back at Lunch with the Arts,” says Joan Stansbury, LWTA program coordinator. “We had such a tremendous response from last year’s concert, we knew we had to have them back. What better way to cap off a tremendous year of outstanding LWTA programs than to bring this outstanding band back to Danville? When they launch into a classic, the excitement is infectious. No one can resist tapping a toe or swaying with the beat.”

The band is made up of 16 to 20 musicians from Central Kentucky. Over the years, the Band has built quite a following, giving more than 30 performances every year, which speaks to their popularity. They make music in a variety of venues from veteran centers to charity fundraisers.

The Young At Heart Big Band is all about bringing the experience of their brand of music to the young and not-so-young alike. The band was formed as part of the Donovan Scholars program at the University of Kentucky in 1980, under the direction of Dr. Jessica Davidson.

According to the band’s website, the band left the Donovan Program in 1989, and reformed as the Davidson Senior Music Group of Central Kentucky. Dr. Davidson (pianist and director) was a very dedicated lady who had a firm belief in the benefit that senior musicians could gain from participating in musical programs. In 2001, the jazz band group left the Davidson program and on Oct. 6, 2000, reformed under the name “Young at Heart Jazz Band.” 

So what is at the core Big Band or Swing music? Lyricist Irving Mills described it perfectly in 1943, when he wrote the classic lyrics to Duke Ellington’s 1931 musical composition: “It makes no diff’rence if it’s sweet or hot. Just give that rhythm ev’rything you got.”  Of course, those words are from the jazz standard “It Don’t Mean A Thing, If It Ain’t Got That Swing!” and that is just what the Young At Heart Big Band exemplifies every time they take the stage. Anyone who has heard them play understands this band truly gives it everything it’s got when they take the stage.

“But the Band isn’t just about playing music,” reminds Stansbury. “The Band also has a philanthropic mission.  Band members are volunteers and no one receives pay. Contributions received by the band are used to provide instruments to students in area schools and other music programs.  In addition to financial contributions, they accept used instruments, which can be refurbished and given a second life.”

Plan to come early and get a good seat, because the Community Arts Center expects another packed house.



Lunch with the Arts,

featuring The Young

at Heart Big Band

Noon-1 p.m. Wednesday at the Arts Center; $12 with lunch (register online by Monday) or $7 at the door


Trees of the Season: Celebrate the Spectrum

My New Kentucky Home

Exhibits through Dec. 23, open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays; suggested donation of $5.

Opening Jan. 4:  New Year New Art

2017 Classes Now Enrolling

Mini Masters (K-3rd)

4-5 p.m. Mondays, Jan. 23-March 6, $80 Students will discover a new famous artist every week and create artwork inspired by the masters. Register online at

Comics and Cartoons (4th-8th), 4-5:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Jan. 24-March 7, $80; class is appropriate for any level of experience!.

Mudslingers (K-8th) , 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays, Jan. 28-March 11, $125/$200; a new pottery class that kids and their grownups can take together! Sign your child up alone—or join them in the fun! Register online at

ActUp! Children’s Theater Workshop (K-8th), 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays, Jan. 28-May 6; K-3 is $105,  4-8th grade is $155; in this 14-week class, students learn the basics of theater and have the chance to perform in a final production.

Intro to Clay (teens and adults), 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays, Jan. 24-March 7, $145; students will learn the fundamentals of creating with clay, including hand-building, wheel-throwing, and slip-casting using molds. No experience is required – perfect for beginners. Register online at

Printmaking 101, 7-9 p.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 25-March 8, $105; this beginner-level class introduces students to the basics of printmaking, including image selection, block preparation and carving, and image transfer techniques. No drawing experience is required!

Ballroom Dance , 6-7 p.m. Thursdays for beginner classes, $10/door; no partner required.

Wheel-Thrown Pottery, 2-4 p.m. Sundays, Jan. 29-March 12, $145; students will learn the basics of creating bowls, vases, mugs and more using an electric potter’s wheel. The class is limited to 8 potters, providing lots of one-on-one guidance from the instructor.

Ceramic Sculpture, 7-9 p.m. Thursdays, Jan. 26-March 9, $145; in this beginner class, students will explore sculpting with clay, creating both representational and abstract pieces.

Starry Night Studio: Woodland Fox, 6:30-9:30 p.m., $35; Tuesday, January 10 | 6:30pm to 9:30pm | $35; learn to paint a whimsical winter fox in this guided painting class. No experience? No problem! Our instructor will provide step-by-step instructions.


Need-based scholarships are available for all classes;  call Maggie Shapiro Haskett at (859) 236-4054 or visit to apply.

Register online at