Hal McIntyre Orchestra at TCAN

14-piece big band

The Hal McIntyre Orchestra, directed by Don Pentleton

The Hal McIntyre Orchestra, directed by Don Pendleton, played the fantastic swing that was nurtured and inspired by Glenn Miller at TCAN, The Center for the Arts in Natick, on September 8th.  It was much appreciated by an enthusiastic audience.

Now directed by Don Pendleton, it is still one of the hottest big bands today.  McIntyre was a founding member and played alto sax in The Glenn Miller orchestra for years; Miller thought it was time for him to strike out on his own. With Glenn’s blessing and financial help, Hal formed his own band in 1942.

Hal unfortunately passed away in 1958 in a house fire; Hal McIntyre Jr. (who went to Berklee College of Music) took over.  He kept the band going until he also passed away.

Don Pentleton in front of the band
Don Pentleton

Don Pendleton was asked by the McIntyre estate to continue the tradition.  Don is a veteran Big Band drummer who performed with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.  He also played with the Guy Lombardo Orchestra, Skitch Henderson, Ella Fitzgerald and comedians Phyllis Diller, Pat Cooper, Frankie Fontaine, and Georgie Jessel.

After 17 years, Don finally decided to give up the drums and step up in the front of the band.  He’s a skilled, high-energy conductor.

This performance at The Natick Center for the Arts in Natick was their finale of a successful season that started in May at the Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham.

They began with a rousing instrumental, Stomping At The Savoy.  This music swings with energy and vitality!

Tom Ferrante, alto sax

Tom Ferrante, alto sax

The word is, if you don’t have arrangements, play solos.  This band still has the original yellowed, dog-eared, 1940’s McIntyre arrangements, but still features virtuosic soloists.

Tom Ferrante’s rapturous alto sax was featured on  I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me,  That Old Feeling; a tune made famous by Robert Goulet, On a Clear Day.


Highlighted were Arthur Bakopoulas on baritone sax with Love Walked In, Wayne Branco trombone on Should I Care?

Bill Kane, drums

Bill Kane

Paul Elman’s sax, backed by fine string bass on When You’re Smiling, was accentuated by Bill Kane’s drums.

The Latin touch is always popular at ballroom dances.  The Band complied with George Benson’s version of the 1941 Masquerade, with Dennis Perriccio’s lead trumpet, Ferrante’s alto sax, and string bass giving them a powerful, rhythmic foundation.

Steve Piermarini smoldering trombone was featured on Yesterdays.  Steve takes over directing  the band for Steve Marvin’s vocals.

vocalist Steve Marvin

Steve Marvin

Steve Marvin sings in that poignant, touching, Sinatra style. He began with I’ve Got The World on a String.  The number one tune Sinatra recorded, Cole Porter – Nelson Riddle’s, I’ve Got You Under My Skin.

From Robin and the Seven Hoods, Chicago,  You’re Marvelous, Sinatra’s My Way.  (Paul Anka heard it and wrote the lyrics.)  Steve is noted for his Tributes to Frank Sinatra

There were many fine instrumentals, Days of Wine and Roses, A Train, What Am I Here For? a barn-burning New York, New York.  The Finale was a the tune that always defines the Glenn Miller sound, In The Mood.

The band will pack it up for the winter, and return next spring with more lasting tunes and the same Jack Daniel-stained 1940’s McIntyre arrangements.

musicians holding up old arrangements

yellow, dog-eared arrangements

Hal McIntyre Orchestra

Directed by Don Pentleton,
with Vocals by Steve Marvin, 
and Featuring the alto sax of Tom Ferrante*,
at Amazing Things Arts Center, May 7, 2012.

Drummer Don Pentleton, 5 saxes, 3 trombones, 3 trumpets

The Hal McIntyre Big Band begins its season every year at the Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham, Massachusetts –  “to blow dust off the music and see if we can still play it.” They haven’t seen each other since November.  Man, can they still play it!

From that first sound of Stomping at The Savoy, the saxophones and brass had us enthralled with their joyful, timeless spirit. One of Hal McIntyre’s own arrangements in McIntyre’s warm ballad style, with Ed Harlow and Dave Burdette soloist, I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me.

Director/Drums: Don Pentleton,
Dave Burdett,  Dennis Perriccio, Jerry Seeco
Trombones: Steve Piermarini, Wayne Branco, Brian Kay
Saxophones. Tom Ferrante, Sil D’urbano, Ed Harlow,  Arnie Krakowsky, Jerry Vejmola
Piano: John Acaro  
String bass
: Stephen Arsenault

Ed Harlow

Ed Harlow, laid back and mellow sax, on a big hit from the 1940’s That Old Feeling.

Their alternate theme song, 1942 Commando Serenade, from a movie in the 1940’s, powerful, with both muted trumpets and muted trombones.  Fantastic! 

Directed by Don Pentleton, the band is faithful to the original charts – literally – with the now yellowed pages, all torn around the edges.

Don is a veteran Big Band drummer who has also performed with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Guy Lombardo Orchestra, Skitch Henderson, Ella Fitzgerald and comedians Phyllis Diller, Pat Cooper, Frankie Fontaine, and George Jessel.
He has kept this marvelous band working together, playing one-nighters all over  Massachusetts and New England ever since.

Sil D’Urbano’s rich, warm and vibrant clarinet solo is on a Benny Goodman arrangement of On a Clear Day,

Sil has been in the business for 65 years, and still playing fine, strong sax and clarinet!!

Sil D’Urbano

Let’s Fall in Love, many individual one-chorus solos. Acaro on piano, sneaks in a snippet of Louise.

Don says “former saxophonist Dave Chapman “played the hell out of this tune.” Unfortunately we lost Dave a couple of years ago.  Tom Ferrante does equally well on this three-tune medley.  Ferrante started on gut wrenching tenor sax, with My One And Only Love.  Acaro uses the full range of the piano keys on I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face, and Dave Burdett’s deep, rich tones dominate on Young Man With a Horn.

Tom Ferrante

Dave Burdett

Moving to a much faster beat, a Woody Herman song for Jerry Seeco – Days of Wine and Roses.  This was Jerry’s first time with the band.  

Wayne Branco

Wayne Branco featured on Ted Heath’s version of April in Paris.

Hal McIntyre liked to stay current, and Don expects that if he were here, he would play this more modern version of Lennie Niehaus’ Love Walked In, featuring Dave Burdette trumpet, Steve Piermarini trombone.

The band moved to a Latin beat with Leroy Anderson’s Serenata, highlighting Dave Burdett’s fine trumpet.  Lovely!  We were left spellbound!

*      *      *

Vocalist Steve Marvin, of Revere, Massachusetts, is one of the finest interpreters of Frank Sinatra’s music.  Steve Piermarini always takes the lead directing the band for Steve’s vocals; he’s familiar with the routine……and those important keys.  Piermarini and Marvin were a duet for many years.

Marvin sings with Sinatra’s soul and style, using the maestro’s “long breath” technique.  But he conveys the message and the emotions in his own voice.
I’ve Got The World on a String,
Don’t Worry About Me,
The Best is Yet to Come,
I’ve Got You Under My Skin.

And captivates the audience with those piercing blue eyes!

Arnie Krakowski’s loose, sinuous sax is featured on a chart they received from a DJ in Los Angeles, a Tom Kubris arrangement of When You’re Smiling, played in a more, modern vein…..

Arnie Krakowsky

……with Acaro’s fingers running up and down the piano keys! 

An Assistant Professor at Berklee, Acaro is a National and international pianist and recording artist.

The whole front row was filled with John’s ‘s family, a whole slew of Italian Aunts and Cousins, who were enjoying the McIntyre Big Band as much as the rest of us.

Stephen Arsenault is calm and consistent.

His strong chord voicings on string bass are sometimes driving the band, sometimes providing  a steady beat behind the instrumentalists, but always right there!

Steve Marvin returned for the finale, with an unforgettable Old Black Magic.  (Where did the time go???)  He listens to the horns, and scats along with the saxophones, like a front line instrument.  Nice touch!   Luck Be a Lady Tonight, from Robin and the 7 Hoods, and the final tune, a fantastic Chicago.

We were completely absorbed with this fine music – couldn’t help it.  Time just flew by.  The Hal McIntyre Big Band is still “The Band that America loves”.
See for yourself. Catch them at Old Orchard Beach in July:

July 24, 6:30-8:30pm
Hal McIntyre Orchestra,
directed by Don Pentleton and featuring the alto saxophone of Tom Ferrante with the Sinatra style vocals of Steve Marvin at The Seaside Pavilion, Old Orchard Beach, Maine The World famous Hal Mcintyre Orchestra with a Frank Sinatra Tribute featuring vocalist, Steve Marvin comes to the Pavilion this summer! Under the direction of Don Pentleton, veteran Big Band drummer, they’ll be sure to delight music lovers of all ages! Don Pentleton is the musical director and drummer of the Hal McIntyre Orchestra. Don took over the reigns of the Hal McIntyre Orchestra through an arrangement with the McIntyre family.. $12.00 Advance / $17.00 Day of Show Tickets

Or pick up a couple of CD’s. There are two Hal McIntyre CDs currently available.
     1. Lullaby Of Birdland
     2. Free and Easy
$15.00 each.  Contact, donpentleton@yahoo.com

Tom Ferranteis an alumnus of NEC, has been a member of the theater orchestra of the Wang, Schubert, and Colonial theaters, as well as the Boston Opera House.  He has also been a member of the Herb Pomeroy and Greg Hopkins Jazz Orchestras.  His education credits include 20 years as director of bands at Waltham High School, 25 years as associate professor of saxophone at UMASS – Lowell, and clinician and adjudicator for the Massachusetts Association of Jazz Educators, of which he was the first president. 

Steve Marvin: http://stevemarvinvocal.com/2096tribute.html http://stevemarvinvocal.com/