Jazz Orchestra makes season debut


The Jazz Orchestra rehearses for its upcoming concert in the band room. Photo by Sean McGraw

The Northwestern State University Jazz Orchestra will take the stage Oct. 11 for the first time this semester after months of practice and rehearsal. With a diverse music selection and range of talent, the concert will incorporate both familiar and foreign pieces in what will be a unique first performance.

Sophomore trumpet player Lane Clevenger joined the ensemble because of the extensive jazz culture he grew up around in New Orleans.

“[Jazz] is everywhere… You just hear fat trumpet sounds all the time. You always hear jazz,” he said.

Sophomore Laura Lovell said she got a taste of jazz band in high school and jumped at the opportunity to join a group at the collegiate level.

Lovell enjoys the thrill of performing at concerts because she can hear the finished product knowing how much work went into the piece.

“I love performing so much,” the saxophonist said. “There’s no other feeling like it.”

Jazz music differs from other genres because of its intense rhythms and relaxed feel.

“Stylistically, there’s nothing like [jazz]. Everything you learn classically goes out the window,” Clevenger said.

Junior trombonist Michael King echoed Clevenger’s thoughts about the genre.

“I liked the way jazz grooved. Then I did it and realized it’s a lot harder than I anticipated,” he said.

The ensemble will incorporate a selection of Latin-based music due to the large number of Columbian students in the ensemble. According to Clevenger, the Columbian students really thrive on those particular pieces.

Clevenger, King and Lovell all said they were excited to play Louis Prima’s “Sing, Sing, Sing.” King said he is particularly eager to perform this song because it has been familiar to him for a while.

Lovell is looking forward to playing “Fascinating Rhythm” by Ira and George Gershwin.

“It’s very accurately named,” Lovell said. “It’s going to be groovin’.”

Other pieces include “Secret Love” by Paul Francis Webster and Sammy Fain, “Cute” by Neal Hefti and a Roger Holmes arrangement of “Everyday I Have the Blues.”

“There’s going to be a lot of energy,” Lovell said. “There’s going to be some really cool pieces some people should [also] recognize.”

The jazz band concert will be held Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall and is open to the public. Questions can be directed to the CAPA office at 318-357-4522.