By Melissa Pumphrey
Member, African American History Club
Robert “Bobby” Felder has been a prominent musician in the Washington, D.C. area for over 50 years. His band will present “A Christmas Gala,” a selection of Christmas favorites, on Sunday, December 22 at 6:00 p.m. in Maryland Hall. This will be the group’s second appearance in concert at Riderwood Village. The first, held on August 18, was by all reports a smashing success!
Bobby is a native of Tampa, Florida, a graduate of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and recipient of a master’s degree from Catholic University. His accomplishments are legion. Following military service, where he conducted the premier Air Force marching and concert band while stationed at Bolling Air Force Base, Bobby performed as trombonist and arranger for top jazz musicians. He became an accomplished public-school band director, and later was appointed professor of instrumental music at the University of the District of Columbia where he served for 23 years.
His own signature band, known as Bobby Felder and the Blue Notes, has entertained at numerous events for professional and social organizations throughout the Eastern United States as well as for Presidential inaugural balls. While Bobby was Director of Jazz Services at Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ, jazz music became an exciting expression of worship which welcomed musicians to a sacred place where their special gifts were consecrated and affirmed. He has recorded several CD’s of his own band and produced CD’s for other performers. His latest endeavor, “the Capital All-Stars Jazz Ensemble” brings together a number of talented and established performing musicians.
Tickets cost $10 and will be on sale Monday, December 16, and Tuesday, December 17 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in all four dining room lobbies.