On November 11, 2014, spectators from around the campus and community had the opportunity to see a performance by the David L. Walters Department of Music Jazz Program.
The four Big Bands presented their repertoire to the audience with musical and personal confidence.
Every single part is important, as was exhibited by percussionist Danny Moore on guiro. “It actually adds quite a lot to the piece musically,” he says.
Students build confidence knowing the importance of these parts, no matter how big or small they may seem to the audience.
“Often times, you’re the only person playing that part, so it brings out a lot of confidence,” says trombonist player, Susana Rivas. “You learn to keep mistakes to a minimum and recover from them quickly.”
Several of the students had the opportunity to solo during various pieces – another key to confidence building in jazz.
“You have to know your horn like you know your voice,” says trombonist Braden Barrentine. “If you can sing it, you should be able to play it,”
Most jazz student are painfully aware of the importance of developing their own style, whether through playing or conducting. Dabbling in all genres gives a little more depth and significance to the developing style of each musician, as it is really easy to mimic a teacher or instructor rather than create a unique style.
Music isn’t always about being satisfied and comfortable with what we hear or interpret; some people pat themselves on the back for dipping into a few artistic cultures, but immersion is essential.
Music, along with all art, takes patience. It takes patience to sit through a three hour opera or listen to a beginner muddle through “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” Jazz has a direct effect on each student and their idea of patience. They will literally do whatever it takes to be the best.
Non-musicians provide a totally different perspective at any concert, regardless of their reason for attendance.
“It was a great experience, and I enjoyed the atmosphere,” says JSU student, Dalton Moore.
Another student, Samantha Fowler, agreed. “It kind of adds a little culture to JSU,” says Fowler.
Other students attending the concert for academic responsibilities found the experience equally enjoyable.
“It was actually pretty enjoyable,” says JSU student Micah Kelley. “I may even start attending more of these concerts.”
In the end, that’s all any artists really wants; artists like for others to appreciate their world, even if it means just having something to talk about at lunch the next day.