Thursday Night Music Club brings the sound of a big band to Ruby Diamond

Thursday night music club will bring its “big band” sounds, complete with talented soloists and singers, to the Ruby Diamond Concert Hall when the ensemble performs its 14th annual Jazz Showcase at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 11, 2022. Tickets are $15.

Thursday Night Music Club is the result of the question amateur trombonist Trisha Moynihan posed to friends and acquaintances in Tallahassee musical circles 16 years ago: From this one? His invitation struck a chord: the response was an enthusiastic “yes”.

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Over time, the informal Thursday night reading sessions grew into a fully formed ensemble ready to share the musical enjoyment with others. The band began playing at small local venues – charging only the amount needed to provide the band with sheet music and band material.

About 18 months later, Thursday Night Music Club recruited a standout prospect from the FSU College of Music faculty. Given the triple skill of Dr. Patrick Dunnigan (bandleader, arranger, guitarist), the band immediately launched it.

Dunnigan pledged to “stretch” the band musically. He expanded the scope of the band’s repertoire (which now encompasses swing, ballads, blues, rock, pop, Latin, funk), added technically difficult “project pieces” to rehearsals, and filled musicians’ binders with music cards until they swelled.

Thursday evenings, classes in session!

TNMC performed its first nine Jazz Showcase concerts in FSU’s cozy Opperman Music Hall. In 2017, he booked the much larger Ruby Diamond Concert Hall for the first time (almost three times). The band felt they were taking a big risk.

Lisa Foltz, one of TNMC's talented vocalists, performs while Dr. Patrick Dunnigan, the band's musical director, accompanies her on guitar.  The ensemble will present its 14th edition of the Jazz Showcase at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 11, 2022.

How would the community react to a local group made up largely of amateur musicians who aspired to play in Tallahassee’s premier venue – home to the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and famous touring artists? The group’s anxious faces turned into excited smiles as event supervisors opened Ruby Diamond’s balcony to welcome all attendees.

In 2018 and 2019, ticket sales exceeded 1,000 tickets for each of the band’s 11th and 12th Jazz Showcase performances at Ruby Diamond.

Clearly, while the band honed their craft at the Tallahassee Museum, Lake Ella Food Truck Nights, LeMoyne Art in the Park events, and the Festival of Lights, Tallahassee was paying attention.

Then came the COVID-19 pandemic. Live music events have been suspended for over a year. Dunnigan researched and implemented safety protocols so the band could continue practicing on Thursday nights: Whenever live performances became possible again, the TNMC frontman intended to hit the ground in scratching.

The group presented their 13th Jazz Showcase at Opperman Music Hall in October 2021. The audience rewarded the ensemble’s performance with a standing ovation.

There couldn’t have been a better way to set the stage for Thursday Night Music Club’s return to Ruby Diamond on August 11th.

Tickets for the concert are available from band members, at the door and online at ThursdayNightMusicClub.org.

If you are going to

What: Thursday Night Music Club 14th edition of the Jazz Showcase

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 11

Where: Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, FSU

Tickets: $15; visit Thursday eveningmusic.club

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About Evan A. Ellis

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