Bands pay homage to Glenn Miller and Thomas Dorsey as they battle it out in Marsee Auditorium

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Two big bands with thirty musicians will battle it out with 1940s music at the Marsee Auditorium on Sunday, Oct. 15.

Gary Vecchiarelli, producer of the event, said, “I started in 2014 to see if the audience would accept this type of entertainment. The response has been overwhelming.”

The bands will play the most popular jazz music of the 1940s.

“Every year I have added more and more shows based on the demand from the audience,” Vecchiarelli said.

At the end of the show, the audience will decide which band was the best. This helps with the decision on what gets played in future battles.

“We feature two of the most important big bands in the history of the 1930s and 1940s,” Vecchiarelli said. “That’s Glenn Miller big band and the Tommy Dorsey big band. They were the most popular the audience really loves them.”

Jazz music can be enjoyed by both old and new generations as Ana Dolsen, 21,music major, believes.

“I’d have to thank my parents for getting me so interested in their music,” Dolsen said. “I ended up liking jazz music a lot, so much that I decided to play the trumpet in middle school.”

Jessica Cortez, 19, English major, agrees, as she has been listening to jazz her whole life.

“My grandfather loves this music and me and him are really close,” Cortez said. “He puts it on all the time I find it relaxing so I listen to it as well, especially when I need to focus on school work.”

They originally only played in Las Vegas, but thanks to the audience response they now have shows in multiple cities.

“I did monthly big band dances in Las Vegas. When I did big band dances there, I found that the audience never complained about how hot it was but complained about us talking too much,” Vecchiarelli said. “They wanted to hear the music of their lives, of the times fell in love, had their first kiss, when they had their first date.”

One of the reasons the show does so well is due to nostalgia of it all.

“I’ve never been to one of these shows, but my parents have and they love it,” Joseph Lori, 22, biology major, said. “My grandparents are excited for it too. Every time they listen to Glenn Miller they talk about their homecoming dance in high school.”

This is the first time Battle of the Big Bands is playing at El Camino. They usually perform in art centers or theaters.

“I’ve performed at a high school but actually I don’t think I’ve performed at a college level,” Vecchiarelli said. “El Camino has a box office and that’s what I like about it. Without one, the audience thinks that the show is being put on by the school and that hurt me a lot last time.”

Audience feedback and participation has helped the event grow.

“The guest book online allows people to make negative or positive reviews. Ninety percent of the time they are always positive,” Vecciharelli said.

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