A big band leader from north-central Iowa who toured all across the Midwest in decades past will be remembered with a concert tonight in his home town. The namesake of the Al Welsh Orchestra died in 1989, but the band is still touring.
Denny Anderson, of Rockwell City, is the band’s current leader and explains how the tribute concert came into being. “Alan Welsh Junior contacted me and wanted to know if we would be interested in doing a so-called commemorative dance because it was 20 years since his dad had passed away,” Anderson says. “We just thought that would be a great idea and we’d like to have it in Webster City where the whole family grew up and where Al started his band back in the early 50s.”
Anderson says it’s amazing but true — the big band sound of the Al Welsh Orchestra is still popular in the 21st century. “His arrangements were arranged in such a way that they’re just mostly all happy music,” Anderson says, laughing. “It’s got a real solid beat and people just enjoy dancing to it. It’s got some interesting quirks in it here and there.”
The Al Welsh Orchestra Tribute Dance will be held at Fuller Hall in Webster City tonight from 7 to 10 PM. Admission is free but a canned food item would be appreciated to help the Upper Des Moines Opportunity food pantry in Webster City.
For more information about the orchestra, log on to www.alwelshorchestra.com.
Contributed by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City