Let’s sing a little Brubeck

Sing some Brubeck.

Or just come and listen.

Out goes the invitation from Steve and Marti Spurlock, who founded the Civic Choral Society in 1971 to provide quality sacred choral music in the area. They hope to hear from former participants interested in being a part of a local informal tribute to the late jazz great Dave Brubeck.

In its history, the Civic Choral Society had Brubeck as its most memorable guest, an artist who had dedicated some of his time to writing sacred choral music and who performed with the Civic Choral Society on five occasions – in 1980, in 1982, in 1985, in 1991 and finally in 2007.

His death on Dec. 5, 2012, at the age of 91 – just a day shy of his 92nd birthday – got the Spurlocks to thinking they wanted to do something locally in honor of him.

That being the case, the Spurlocks are organizing an informal “Sing Some Brubeck” session on Jan. 21 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at First Westminster Presbyterian Church located at 235 N. Fourth St., Steubenville.

“It’s going to be an informal celebration of Dave Brubeck and his music, and we have a brass ensemble and a jazz trio, and we’re going to get together and play and sing and reminisce about the five concerts we had with him,” said Steve Spurlock.

In an e-mail alert about the event, Marti Spurlock invited message recipients to “come as you are and bring someone with you to either sing or listen (no charge!). We’ll sing some Brubeck choral music from cantatas we’ve done before. (See if you still have your music. We’ll make some copies, too.)”

Marti Spurlock notes the “Brubeck jam session” will include local musicians Lou Casini and Sunny Sunseri.

“Half of the fun will be the work…as always! The other half will be retelling stories of Dave’s five trips here. Oh, and the other half will be seeing each other again,” Marti Spurlock wrote.

“We’re going to sing some pieces we’ve done before,” she said.

“Immediately after his passing, we started thinking let’s do a benefit concert or something,” Marti Spurlock said when contacted by phone. “We decided to sit down and just do them,” she said of Brubeck’s works the choral society performed with him in years past.

The tribute is open to those who want to sing and those who want to listen. It’s a one-time event, and there’s no charge, according to Marti Spurlock.

Steve Spurlock said doing Brubeck’s music the first time around required intensive learning.

“Now I appreciate what Dave was doing from a whole different point of view. When we were learning it, we were busy. Now we will get together and celebrate the music and the message. I am hoping to have enough in each part to sing the music whether it’s 20 or 200,” Steve Spurlock said.