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St. Edward’s students showcase jazz talents at Spring Music Festival

Sierra+Bouldin+%28left%29+sings+with+fellow+members+of+the+SEU++Steady+Band.+All+three+groups+will+preform+again+in+April+in+Jones+Auditorium.+
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St. Edward’s students showcase jazz talents at Spring Music Festival

Sierra Bouldin (left) sings with fellow members of the SEU  Steady Band. All three groups will preform again in April in Jones Auditorium.

Sierra Bouldin (left) sings with fellow members of the SEU Steady Band. All three groups will preform again in April in Jones Auditorium.

Nina Rocha / Hilltop Views

Sierra Bouldin (left) sings with fellow members of the SEU Steady Band. All three groups will preform again in April in Jones Auditorium.

Nina Rocha / Hilltop Views

Nina Rocha / Hilltop Views

Sierra Bouldin (left) sings with fellow members of the SEU Steady Band. All three groups will preform again in April in Jones Auditorium.

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The SEU Department of Music hosted a jazz concert featuring performances by three student ensembles as part of the Spring Music Festival last Tuesday.

The jazz ensembles are all under the direction of Professor Joey Colarusso, who not only hosted the evening by introducing every group as they walked on stage, but also played different instruments with each ensemble.

“I just enjoy playing. It’s much more fun for me than if I would be up front conducting.” Colarusso said.

Students and professors alike attended the performance to show support for friends and students. One of those in attendance was Professor Billy Earnest.

“I’m a hopeless fanboy when it comes to jazz — especially live jazz. I don’t think there’s any other musical form that sounds better live,” Earnest said.

“Seeing my students play was the icing on the cake for me.”

Professor Earnest also came to show support to fellow colleagues  Colarusso and Professor Alan Altimont, who played baritone saxophone in Steady Band.

The evening started with a  performance by  Lab Band, an ensemble open to musicians with beginning to intermediate jazz experience. Kim Foo, a sophomore who plays the trumpet for Lab Band,  practiced with the band twice a week for seven weeks in preparation for the performance.

“It was really amazing to see my fellow band members give it their all during their solo,” Foo said. “My favorite piece we performed was ‘Cantaloupe Island’ because the rhythm was fun and lively to play, also because I had a solo in it. I’ve never been in a jazz band, so I was really happy to be given the opportunity to play on my own”

The next group to perform was Jazz Improv Combo Program. Professor Colarusso prefaced their performance by dispelling the notion that jazz improvisation is completely off the cuff.

“There are guidelines or recommendations that you can choose to follow,” Colarusso said. “As David Brubeck said ‘Jazz is about freedom within discipline’.”

Emma Drumwright, pianist for the Jazz Improv Combo, got involved with the program with the intention of getting back into piano playing.

“I think it’s my favorite thing I’ve done while here at St. Ed’s,” Drumwright said. “I’m in awe every time I play with the band—they are all so talented. I always look forward to hearing what they’ll bring to every performance”

Steady Band’s performance closed the night. Steady Band is open for students with intermediate to advanced experience with jazz, music reading, improvisational skills and ensemble playing. Members must audition to be admitted to the program.

Sierra Bouldin, one of the groups vocalists, was excited to get the opportunity to join the group.

“I’ve always wanted to sing jazz,” Bouldin said. “I love the band. I like the energy and support when performing.”

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St. Edward’s students showcase jazz talents at Spring Music Festival