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Daughter carries on father's big-band legacy, set for gazebo show in Scottdale

| Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
The Wally Gingers Orchestra will be playing at the gazebo in Scottdale July 25 as part of the borough's annual summer concert series.
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The Wally Gingers Orchestra will be playing at the gazebo in Scottdale July 25 as part of the borough's annual summer concert series.

The Wally Gingers Orchestra will be sharing its big-band musical stylings from the 1940s through the 1960s during the Friday evening concert series at the Gazebo parklet in Scottdale at 7 p.m. tomorrow.

The Wally Gingers Band played all over Uniontown and the surrounding areas during the big-band era, but ended its playing time for about 20 years, before being resurrected by his daughter Clare Copenhaver in 2010.

Copenhaver said she was a drummer in her father's band for 15 years, until he passed away in 1990.

“He put the 10-piece band together in 1937, when he was a senior in high school, and continued to play in it until he died,” she said.

These days the band plays around the area, including a concert in Ligonier that drew a crowd of about 350 people and a concert at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, W.Va., that resulted in an invitation to return to play in the resort's Winter Festival of Lights.

Jay Copenhaver, Clare's husband and the band manager, said the band is excited to play in Scottdale.

“The best part is that we didn't ask to come play, but were invited to participate,” he said. “It's nice when someone seeks you out.”

Some of the tunes that will be played include those made popular by Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra and Duke Ellington.

“It's great to bring the music back for a new generation to enjoy,” said Clare Copenhaver. “Playing in this band is near and dear to my heart, and I'm proud to continue the legacy.”

For more information on the band and its members, visit their website at www.wallygingers.com.

The remaining concert series is as follows:

Aug. 8 — Sugar Mountain,

Aug. 15 — Sammy Brooks Band.

The concerts are free and open to the public.

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.

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