General Assembly


Dogwood Center - Main Stage Sun, Oct 22, 2023 3:00 PM


The General Assembly Big Band, as we know it today, began in the mid 1950’s as a theater group for the Ludington Rotary Club shows. It eventually evolved into a full 16 to 17-piece dance band that was typical of the Swing & Jazz bands from that era. Instrumentation of five saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones, bass guitar, piano and drums was and still is typical of these ensembles. A business studies teacher from Ludington High School was the first real organizer of the group and over the years has consisted of several West Michigan H.S. band directors, a college president, a dairy farmer, an eye surgeon, auto mechanics, just about any other profession you can think of. Three or four original members still play in the group. So, that is how the name came to be. Since the mid 1970’s the band was led by trombonist Tom Sheppardson until his passing in December, 2020. Just prior to his death, the General Assembly Big Band became a 501c3 non-profit corporation. Our mission is very simple - Keep the music of the big band jazz and swing era alive and available to the public.