History of the Portland Megaband
The Portland Megaband began on New Year's Eve, 1996 when no regular bands were able to play for the Portland Country Dance Community's New Year's Eve dance. PCDC elected to try a big band concept which had been successful in other areas of the country, and recruited Sue Songer to see if she could bring together a large number of musicians to play for half of the dance. Twenty-five musicians at all levels of experience responded to a query of interest in this event, and so with this group, the Portland Megaband was born.
Since that time, we have progressed from playing half dances to full evenings. We have moved from rehearsing in band members' homes (where we could not all fit) to having a regular rented rehearsal space at St. Barnabus Episcopal Church. We have grown from 25 to more than 70 members, and our playing has become tighter and more sophisticated with each gig. The band has remained open to anyone willing to come to the rehearsals and people of all ages and experience and on all kinds of instruments have played with us.
At the present , we play one full dance a year and Folklife every other year. We have occasional other get togethers during our "off season."
Many of the members of the Megaband had their start at the Second Wednesday Beginning Musician's Workshop. This session is still going strong after more than two decades! Etienne Scott currently hosts this session, now on the first Thursday of every month. Tunes are taught by ear by contra dance musicians George Penk and Dan Compton. Etienne can be reached at for further details.
© 2010 The Portland Megaband