Grayson County College Jazz Combo swings into Bonham
By Allen Rich
Jun 11, 2010
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Bonham -- Perhaps the only thing more enjoyable than watching James Dering's fingers dance on the keyboards is watching how much his students enjoy watching the remarkable musician at work.

Dering could make a living passing from town to town on the concert tour, but instead the Grayson County College Music Program Director has chosen to pass his considerable knowledge and obvious love for music on to another generation.

The Grayson County College Jazz Combo took the stage Thursday evening for the listening pleasure of another large crowd of music fans at Creative Arts Center's Music in the Garden concert series. This latest concert was sponsored by Reeves Printing Company.

In only its second year of existence, the GCC Jazz Combo is carving out a name across North Texas by offering an interesting play-list that can vary from well-known jazz standards to contemporary improvisational pieces.  Maybe the next time this group graces the stage at Creative Arts Center, they could be persuaded to include a Charlie Christian arrangement.  Christian was an innovative Music Hall of Fame jazz guitarist who was born in Bonham and went on to play with the Benny Goodman Sextet.

Dering studied under one of today's most highly respected jazz pianists, Ellis Marsalis, the father of four professional musicians: Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis.

Dering even worked for a time as a professional jazz pianist in New Orleans. But much like Ellis Marsalis, James Dering seems happy to trade in the spotlight for the chance to watch the light come on in a student's eyes.

To learn more about the Grayson College music program and the GCC Jazz Combo, please visit or contact James Dering at

This year's Music in the Garden concert series will wrap up Thursday, June 17 when gospel and contemporary Christian musical group X-alt, from Faith Church in Sherman, takes the stage at Creative Arts Center.  Complimentary lemonade and cookies will be served. A $5.00 family donation or $2.00 individual donation at the gate is appreciated. The CAC is located at 200 W Fifth Street, Bonham.

For more information, call 903-640-2196.