On Friday, Oct. 19, Jacksonville State held its fall 2012 Jazz Showcase at Mason Hall.
The jazz program has grown significantly this year and continues to flourish. The showcase held ten different ensembles with students ranging from freshman to senior, music majors to non-music majors. The show began with the zesty Latin Ensemble and ended with one of the larger bands in the Jazz Ensemble One.
The jazz program here at JSU offers musicians the knowledge to find a new approach to their creative process, by challenging them to incorporate improve and their own composition into jazz. With multiple showcases a semester, students have the tools to perfect their music and have fun at the same time.
“Unfortunately there are no collegian competitions for us to participate in right now but we do hold the new Jazz Festival for high school bands to come and compete. Last year was the first year and it was a great success,” says Robbie Rockwell 21, a junior and a music education major, on the newest development in the JSU music program.
The Showcase is audition only, but a Music major or minor is not required.
After speaking with Graham Bennett 22, a senior and experienced trumpet player, he explains students should not fear the audition. “Just do it, don’t be afraid to do it, some people might be worried others have been doing it longer than them. But just do it, it’s a lot of fun and a good experience.” Bennett who is a music education major, performed in the Enghauser Combo Two and the Jazz Ensemble One Friday night.
Not only do the students love performing, but the audience enjoyed it as well.
Art major John Simmons had nothing but good things to say about the various performances. Although Simmons is an Art major, he has too thought about auditioning. “I’ve thought about it before [auditioning], because I played bass in high school jazz band. However, I’m already too busy with art and personal music projects,” says Simmons.
With musical numbers like Black Coffee sang by Rae Cauthen in Nevala Combo Three, and Breakfast Wine written by Bobby Shew, the showcase was full to capacity with about 250 to 300 attendees.