Lake Norman & Mooresville

Lake Norman Big Band plays to honor ex-leader

The Lake Norman Big Band will pay tribute to the memory of one of its leaders when it opens the 2008-09 Mooresville Concerts season on Sept. 13.

The swing, blues and show-tunes band will dedicate the performance to Dr. Thomas Basil Mathew, who died of cancer at age 40 on Aug. 15. Mathew, who practiced for 11 years at Mooresville Internal Medicine Associates, was president of the nonprofit band, in which he sang first alto and played drums.

“He was a significant member in our organizing and getting our 501(c)(3) (nonprofit) status,” band vice president Duane Rizzo said. “So we'd really like to dedicate the performance to him and his family. It will be our first concert after he died.” Mathew had a wife and five children.

The 20-member, all-volunteer band includes bankers, accountants, school teachers, a minister, retirees, CEOs, consultants, doctors and an airline pilot. Rizzo is a retired Buffalo, N.Y., police lieutenant.

The band rehearses at Berea Baptist Church in Mooresville and has performed at numerous Charlotte area events under the direction of musical director Bill Sutton.

Mooresville Concerts is beginning its second season. This year's lineup includes nine concerts for all ages at the Charles Mack Citizen Center through May 1.