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Brad Walker Orchestra bringing big band sound to North Hamilton

The Brad Walker Orchestra featuring singer Valerie L. Duke will serenade a crowd with big band tunes at the Dance for Hope Nov. 10 inside St. Jude Catholic Church Family Life Center.

Social hour from 7-8 p.m. will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres and free dance lessons. The dance follows from 8-11 p.m.

All funds raised will support World of Hope Isaiah 58 Chapter medical missions from Chattanooga to the Philippines, India and Mexico.

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Brad Walker Orchestra singer Valerie L. Duke, left, and conductor/trombone player Brad Walker are playing along with the full Brad Walker Orchestra at the Dance for Hope supporting World of Hope at St. Jude Catholic Church Nov. 10.

“This is the Brad Walker Orchestra’s first appearance at St. Jude Church,” said World of Hope Isaiah 58 Chapter president Sandy Leffew, a parishioner at St. Jude. “We had a nice turnout at last year’s fundraiser dance with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and hope to have an even bigger turnout this year with the Brad Walker Orchestra.”

The Brad Walker Orchestra plays mostly in the style of Glenn Miller, but plays tunes of all the major big band leaders of that time period, also including Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey and Ray Anthony.

“I’ve been listening to this music since I was a little girl,” said Duke, of Chattanooga. “Not only do I love listening and singing the music, but I love the history behind it. I love the hope that it brought our country during a time of war. After all, they are ‘the songs that won the war.’ It’s great to stand onstage and watch men and women dance to music attached to so many memories. You can see them remembering. It’s almost as though they travel back in time.”

As people dance the night away, their event ticket purchases will go to help children in need overseas.

“What our World of Hope Foundation does is we help the poor and needy children in the Philippines, India and Mexico mainly,” said Leffew. “We have child sponsorship programs. We get sponsors to help them with education and feed them and their families. Our Isaiah 58 Chapter hosts medical missions and we treat 500-plus people on our missions.”

She said a team of seven to 10 Chattanooga area physicians travels on annual medical missions to assist with medical, dental and minor surgical needs. Physicians treat adults and children for issues like tuberculosis, high blood pressure and thyroid problems.

“We can treat one child for $8,” said Leffew. “Without people coming in to give medical treatment, they would not be able to get treatment at all. I have been on 11 missions. The missions are really life changing.”

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