shoestring early bird new years eve
VOICE OF THE SOUND — Vocalist Melody Potash boasts a two-and-a-half octave range as the singer for The Sound big band.

This is a concert for New Year’s Eve revelers who want to be home well before midnight — or those who want to fit two celebrations into the final day of 2022.

Shoestring Theatre in Lake Helen will host a ball-dropping, champagne-toasting celebration big-band concert to ring in 2023. It’s not the first New Year’s Eve show at the historic theater, but it is the venue’s inaugural big-band concert.

The Sound, a 20-piece band in the tradition of the big bands of the 1930s swing era, will perform at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31. Tickets, at $25 per person, are available at this link on, or you can call the box office at 386-228-3777.

Shoestring Theatre is at 380 S. Goodwin St. in Lake Helen.

The Sound band features singer Melody Potash, whose two-and-a-half-octave alto voice, in the tradition of the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, is the pièce de résistance.

Potash is influenced by the inimitable Peggy Lee, and shares Lee’s resonant vocal quality — her ability to interpret a simple lyric and take it to a greater depth and broader meaning.

The Sound was founded in 2007 by saxophonist and bandleader Shelly London. The band has been entertaining in East Volusia and Flagler County since then, mainly at community dances and special events. The Sound is now led by saxophonist Bruce Scott and managed by trombonist Rich Thayer.

PLENTY OF HORNS — In the tradition of the big bands of the 1930s swing era, The Sound’s 20 members include plenty of horns. You’re invited to enjoy their “Early Bird” New Year’s Eve concert at Shoestring Theatre in Lake Helen.

Members of the band include retirees as well as active professionals, including former or current engineers, teachers, law enforcement, military veterans and a medical doctor.

Several of the band’s instrumentalists have made a living at music, and some have encountered eliteness. Thayer played with renowned pianist Ellis Marsalis, a professor at the time at Virginia Commonwealth University, and with one of Ellis Marsalis’ sons, Delfayo Marsalis.

The Sound’s styles include swing, Latin jazz, blues, ballads, movie and show tunes, and jazz rock.

Perhaps this show planned for the 2023 New Year celebration will start a new tradition.

“This is our first Early Bird New Year’s event we are hoping to make annual,” said Lori Lemoine, president of Shoestring Theatre’s board of directors.

“The Shoestring board of directors are always looking for fun ways to entertain our community and this opportunity to work with the amazing big-band group The Sound provided a perfect opportunity to allow patrons to celebrate the new year with great music and still make it home before dark,” Lemoine added.

— Shepherd is a saxophonist with The Sound, and husband of The Beacon’s publisher, Barb Shepherd.


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