The Har-Mar Ball

Bob Lancette and the Roseville Big Band pose for a portrait at Har-Mar Mall.

The Roseville Central Park Auxiliary sponsored a series of fancy dress balls as fundraisers for the expansion and improvement of Roseville's Central Park. Marie Slawik, one of the key members of the group, offered Har-Mar Mall, which she and her husband Harold owned, as the location for the dances, which they dubbed the North Suburban Ball. In the earliest years of the events, which began in 1967, the main dance music was provided by well-known professional dance bands: Les Elgart and his Orchestra, Ralph Marterie and his Orchestra, Bob Crosby and his Orchestra.

At the early events, the Roseville Community Band under director Mark Lammers played at an entrance while attendees arrived. Later, the Roseville Jazz Ensemble (whose name later changed to the Roseville Big Band), under the direction of Bob Lancette, was the featured dance band for the North Suburban Ball. Photographer Sam Marks took the posed picture above at the 1985 event.

This was probably the last performance that included the three lead players in the picture. For separate reasons, John Curlee, Larry Perry, and Dan Desmonds dropped out of the group. Although they were capably replaced by Glen Newton, Carol Jensen, and Kay Foster, respectively, director Bob Lancette was so concerned about the turnover in personnel that he turned down a number of performing opportunities in the ensuing months.

Personnel in the picture:  
Trumpets (back row): John Curlee (lead), Mark Lee (3rd), Glen Newton (2nd), Jeff Burnham (4th)
Trombones (middle row): Roger Lundberg (bass), Harlan Hohenstein (3rd), Larry Perry (lead), and Carol Jensen (2nd)
Saxes (front row): Kay Foster (baritone), Brian Dole (2nd alto), Dan Desmonds (lead alto), Melissa Santrach (1st tenor), Dick Leisen (2nd tenor)
Rhythm (left side): Laura Welland (piano), Leigh Anderson (guitar), George Hernandez (drums), Jim Foster (electric bass)
Director: Bob Lancette

Click here for a bigger (1342x582, 87K) picture.