The Shippensburg University Jazz Ensemble performed for an enthusiastic audience on Monday, April 11, in the Luhrs Performing Arts Center.
The SU Department of Music presented the concert, which featured the jazz ensemble playing a variety jazz repertoire, directed and conducted by Trever Famulare, assistant professor of music and director of bands.
The ensemble 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’s stage twice in its 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 a pause on music. This was evident with the ensemble’s next piece which it called “Track 5.”
“Track 5” put various instrumentalists on the spot with improvised solos they found out they were going to play right before the beginning of the piece. Members practiced this skill at each jazz ensemble rehearsal prior to the concert.
The jazz band continued on, playing “La Suerte De Los Tantos (Fortune of Fools),” made popular by Stan Kenton and “Come Out Swingin,” an original tune by Paul Lohorn.
Audience members listened along as the ensemble played the popular “Make Me Smile,” by Chicago which featured a several minute long drum solo by Caleb Smith.
This was followed by “Track 9,” another showcase of students’ improvisation skills. The band then played “Morocco” by The Rippingtons and “Big Swing Face” by Bill Potts. The concert closed out 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. Additional upcoming concerts include orchestra concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 24, in LPAC and percussion ensemble concert on Tuesday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. at LPAC.