In celebration of Independence Day, the waterfront Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels is welcoming The Shades of Blue Orchestra for a live performance at its July 5 Big Band Night. This will be the band’s first performance at the museum, which has hosted Big Band Night for more than 25 years. Two vocalists will join the 18-piece Shades of Blue Orchestra as they perform from the historic Tolchester Beach Bandstand. The rain date for the concert and fireworks is Sunday, July 6.
With the performance beginning at 7 p.m., the public is invited to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets for an evening of music, dancing, and fireworks along the Miles River. Food, ice cream, and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase during the event, which is generously sponsored by Eastern Shore Tents & Events.
Mixing together popular standards, a variety of musical styles, and dance-able rhythms, the Shades of Blue Orchestra combines brass, woodwind, and rhythm instruments to bring music from the 1930s to present to the museum’s 18-acre waterfront campus. The orchestra is conducted by Michael A. Walker, a military-trained musician of the Armed Forces School of Music and former member of the 229th Maryland Army National Guard Band.
The Baltimore-based orchestra has performed at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, M&T Bank Stadium, Camden Yards, the Smithsonian Institution, the Baltimore and D.C. Convention Centers, Ocean City’s Sunfest, and more. Shades of Blue’s musical selections have also been featured on cable’s Music Choice Big Band and Singers & Standards channels. Music samples and more information can be found online at www.shades-of-blue.com.
CBMM’s exhibits and campus will close early at 5 p.m. for Big Band Night, and re-open at 6 p.m. for guests to enter the campus for the event. Admission to Big Band Night is $5 for CBMM members and $10 for non-members, with children under 12 free. After 8:45 p.m., admission will be reduced to $2 for those watching the fireworks only. Proceeds benefit the children and adults served by CBMM’s educational, exhibit, and boat restoration programs.
With the St. Michaels fireworks scheduled to launch after dusk that evening, the museum’s Navy Point location offers a great waterfront venue from which visitors can enjoy the fireworks. For more information, call 410-745-2916 or visit www.cbmm.org/bigband.