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HCC to feature the sounds of Big Band Jazz, featuring alum, Felton Offard

The Highland Community College Big Band will feature the sounds of Big Band Jazz in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, in the Ferguson Fine Arts Center at 2998 W. Pearl City Rd., Freeport, Ill.

The first half of the concert will be the Highland Big Band, with the Count Basie classic “Whirly Bird,” with four selections from Stan Kenton’s “Adventures in Standards,” and “The Stage Door Swings.” Plus, original music by Gary Brubaker.

The second half of the concert will feature Felton Offard, a Highland alum and Freeport High School graduate, who is currently playing guitar in Chicago with the musical “Hamilton.” Offard is also a composer, producer, and educator. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Northern Illinois University and teaches guitar/music production and songwriting at Chicago State University. In addition, John Hartman, a local musician, who was also Offard’s music teacher, will join Offard with his own brand of music.

Offard will play three all-time great jazz classics with the HCC Big Band; “Afro Blue” by Mongo Santamaria, “Four on Six” by the legendary guitarist Wes Montgomery, and Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon.”

“This concert feels special to me,” said Bill Petersen, director. “The Highland Big Band sounds great and is as good as ever, and we celebrate the triumphal return of one of our own to create a great night of music.”

There will be a reception following the concert for a meet and greet with Offard.

Tickets are $12 for adults; $10 for seniors and $8 for students. Tickets may be purchased online at or the night of the concert.