THOMASTON — Sean Fleming and his Dam’ Rag Scotta Orchestra will present an evening of classic ragtime music from the early 1900s on Saturday, March 9, at Watts Hall, 174 Main St., Thomaston, at 7 p.m. Fleming and the orchestra will be playing ragtime music in the traditional styles and tempos of the time. Included will be compositions by the top ragtime composers such as Scott Joplin, Joseph Lamb, “Jelly Roll” Morton, and George Gershwin.
Ragtime music was originally dance music, as opposed to the concert versions generally heard today. The orchestral arrangements are original and played from copies of the near mythical and so-called “Red Back Book,” otherwise known as “Standard High-Class Rags.” In 1915, publisher John Stark issued a limited number of these orchestrations of some of ragtime’s most influential compositions of the time. Working with the best composers, Stark became the leading publisher of rag music.
Here in present-day midcoast Maine, the Dam’ Rag Scotta Orchestra features the local talents of Sean Fleming (piano and conductor), Carol Preston (violin), Carolyn MacDonald (violin), Linda Brunner (flute and piccolo), Mitch Kihn (clarinet), Allen Millet (drums), and Chuck McGregor (bass).
Dancers Carol Teel and Carol Cirigliano will be accompanying the music to demonstrate the popular ragtime dances of the time like the Cakewalk and Slow Drag. It is expected that this “Real Ragtime” concert will be just that – Real Ragtime as it was heard and loved 100 years ago – and an unforgettable evening of music and fun for the whole family.
Concert tickets are $12 for adults, (free for 18 year olds and under.) Tickets can be purchased by calling 354-8908, and also at The Owl and The Turtle, Camden; Reading Corner in Rockland; The Highlands Coffee Shop in Thomaston; and Maine Coast Book Shop and Café in Damariscotta. Refreshments will be available.
Get your tickets early as this concert is often sold out. Proceeds will benefit the Outreach Program of the Episcopal Church of St. John Baptist, which, this past year, awarded grants totaling $8,000 to local charities including Trekkers, New Hope for Women, the Knox County Health Clinic, Headstart, the Humane Society of Knox County and programs aiding the area’s homeless. They also donated over $7,000 to support a school in Gros Morne, Haiti.