The School of Music will feature a major performance in Weigel Hall Thursday evening as the Jazz Combo program puts on its premiere collage concert. For the first time on campus, multiple jazz combos will come together and perform their favorite styles, playing interpretations of classic jazz pieces as well as compositions prepared by students and faculty.
The Jazz Combo uses the semester to prepare for the concert. Ultimately, the final result of their work this semester has led to its creation.
Shawn Wallace, an associate professor and director of jazz studies for the School of Music, will be directing a performance in the concert and notes the significance this concert has to the program.
“It’s important that we give the university at large opportunities to come and see some of the exciting things that we’re doing in the School of Music,” Wallace said. “These performances are exciting opportunities to present music that we all love to a receptive audience.”
For the premiere run, the concert will cover a wide range of jazz styles, including Latin, fusion, New Orleans traditional and post-bop. The combos will play selections from several well-known artists such as Freddie Hubbard, Duke Ellington, Wayne Shorter and Moacir Santos.
Holding true to the School of Music’s concert style, Wallace said the program includes arrangements by students as well.
“Combo directors and students provide musical arrangements, which may include original compositions as well as interpretations of music that is indicative of the musical style that the combo represents,” Wallace said.
While there is a lot of preparation put into these arrangements, style selections and rehearsals, the trademark of the jazz genre is free-form, which Wallace said is part of the concert as well.
“Everything is rehearsed and notated to put on a smooth show. However, in jazz, improvisation is a regular part of every performance, and we will reflect that in our work as well,” he said.
Tamara Morris, publicity and public relations coordinator for the School of Music, said she is pleased that this premiere has come together for the school and excited that the students get to showcase their work.
“The Jazz Combos Collage concert is a new one for us, and it’s great that it will feature most of our smaller combos,” Morris said. “The directors and students are deeply passionate about the music, and that will reflect in their performance.”
The Jazz Combo program is open to all students of any major with placement in the program based on audition. Rehearsals happen twice a week and are evaluated during the studio recital series, occurring on Monday mornings in the Hughes Hall Auditorium. The feedback from these evaluations allows the combos to improve.
The concert will take place in the Weigel Hall Auditorium on Thursday at 8 p.m. For more information, visit the School of Music’s events page.