SONGER STUDIO
BELLA GALA REUNION...WELL SORT OF...
FOR NEARLY TEN YEARS FROM 2002 UNTIL 2010, THE BELLA GALA BIG BAND WAS ONE OF THE TOP BIG BANDS IN THE TWIN CITIES.  THE BAND WAS PART OF THE BELLA GALA WEDDING COMPANY WHICH IS ONE OF THE LEADING WEDDING ORGANIZATIONS AROUND.  THE BAND WAS LED BY DON GEORGE.  

DON WAS A MEMBER OF THE ROD AABERG BIG BAND BACK IN THE 1950S.  THEIR BOOK CONSISTED OF SOME OF THE BIGGEST HITS OF THE DAY BY COUNT BASIE, LES BROWN AND MANY MORE.  IN THE EARLY 2000’S, DON BROUGHT BACK SOME OF THE MEMBERS OF THIS BAND WHO WERE STILL IN TOWN AND FILLED IT OUT WITH SOME OF THE BEST TWIN CITIES JAZZ MUSICIANS.  DON LED THE BAND WITH INCREDIBLE KINDNESS AND NEVERENDING PASSION AND ENTHUSIASM.  HE FOUND MORE CONTEMPORARY JAZZ FAVORITES AND SOME ADDITIONAL CLASSICS TO ADD TO AN ALREADY INCREDIBLE BOOK.  THE BAND SOON BECAME GIGGING ON A REGULAR BASIS AT WEDDINGS AS WELL AS MANY OTHER ENGAGEMENTS INCLUDING STARKEY HEARING FOUNDATION’S ANNUAL GALA, THE OLD LOG THEATER, AND THE MINNESOTA STATE FAIR. 

IN MAY 2010, DON GEORGE TRAGICALLY AND SUDDENLY PASSED AWAY.  THE BAND PLAYED THE JOBS THAT DON HAD ALREADY BOOKED, BUT STARTING IN 2011, THE PERFORMANCES BECAME FEWER AND FURTHER BETWEEN.

LARRY FOYEN, THE BAND’S LEAD TRUMPET PLAYER RECENTLY BROUGHT THE BAND BACK TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NEARLY THREE YEARS ON JUNE 22 AND 23 FOR TWO PRIVATE EVENTS.  SOME OF THE FORMER BELLAGALA MEMBERS ON THE GIGS WERE LEAD TRUMPETER PETE DAVIS, SAXOPHONIST RUSS PETERSON, PIANIST RON SEAMAN, BASSIST STEVE PUKAL, DRUMMER TREVOR HAINING, AND TROMBONISTS JOHN OLSON AND ERIC SONGER.

IT WAS WONDERFUL TO RECONNECT WITH EACH OTHER AND ENJOY PLAYING THE CHARTS AGAIN.  HOPEFULLY MORE JOBS ARE IN THE FUTURE.  IF ANYONE IS LOOKING FOR AN AMAZING BIG BAND TO PLAY A GIG, LET US KNOW!
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ERIC PERFORMING WITH RUSS PETERSON & LARRY FOYEN ABOVE AND WITH ETHAN FREIER, JOHN OLSON AND LARRY MCCABE BELOW AT TWO BELLA GALA BIG BAND EVENTS JUNE 22-23
DON GEORGE, FOUNDER OF THE BELLA GALA BIG BAND