The Shippensburg University Jazz Ensemble performed to enthusiastic audiences on Monday, April 11 at the Luhrs Performing Arts Center.
The SU Department of Music presented the concert, which featured the jazz ensemble playing a varied jazz repertoire, conducted and directed by Trever Famulare, Assistant Professor of Music and Band Manager.
The set opened with “Pick Up the Pieces” by Average White Band. This was followed by “Give it One” by Maynard Ferguson, who had graced the LPAC stage twice in his 16 years, according to Famulare.
With 28 members, the jazz band was larger than a typical ensemble. Famulare attributed this to creating a learning experience with the ensemble, as the COVID-19 pandemic had previously put music on hold. This was evident with the next piece in the set which he called “Track 5”.
“Track 5” put various instrumentalists on the spot with improvised solos that they found out they were going to play just before the piece started. The members practiced this skill at every jazz ensemble rehearsal before the concert.
The jazz band continued by playing “La Suerte De Los Tantos (Fortune of Fools)”, made popular by Stan Kenton and “Come Out Swingin”, an original track by Paul Lohorn.
Audience members listened as the set played Chicago’s popular “Make Me Smile,” which featured a several-minute drum solo by Caleb Smith.
This was followed by ‘Track 9′, another showcase of the students’ improvisational skills. The band then played “Morocco” by The Rippingtons and “Big Swing Face” by Bill Potts. The concert ended with Earth Wind & Fire’s “In the Stone”, which was popular with the audience.
During the concert, Famulare recognized six seniors: Eric Bieber, bass; Zachary Davis, tenor saxophone 1; Marianna Echeverry, trumpet and treasurer; Drake Myers, drums; Noah Stewart, guitar; and Matthew Zemba, piano.
The SU Music Department presented its next concert for Concert Choir and Madrigals Singers at 7:30 p.m. on a snowy Monday at the First Church of God. Other upcoming concerts include an orchestra concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 24 at LPAC and a percussion ensemble concert on Tuesday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. at LPAC.