Tag: Hannah Ashford

JSU presents Steel Band and Latin Ensemble in concert


Hannah Ashford, Staff Reporter

JSU’s Latin Ensemble and Steel Band performed on Tuesday night at the Mason Hall Performance Center. The Latin Ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Andy Nevala and the steel band is under the direction of Dr. Tony McCutchen.

The Steel Band contains varying types of steel drums. These including tenors, double tenors, guitar pans and bass pans. The electric bass and drum set played by Ryan Grider and Colin James are in the ensemble as well.

The Steel Band has practiced for this concert since the beginning of the semester, but while preparing for other events alongside. The ensemble performed at the Black History Month concert in February. In addition, the group will also perform Thursday the 30th at Randall McDonald and DJ Hester’s percussion recital.

The Latin Ensemble consisted of several percussionists, as well as other vital instruments. Matt Whitehead and Jared Triggs played trumpet while Devin Hale played the baritone saxophone, and Susana Rivas played the trombone.

Rivas says she loves the way that Latin Jazz sounds.


“Playing Jazz is whole other world of music. The music written is not what makes Latin Jazz fun, it’s the musicality that [a performer] puts behind it that makes it enjoyable,” said Rivas.

The Latin Ensemble has performed several times this semester. This includes Jared Triggs’s recital, Lincoln High School, and even at Brother’s Bar in Jacksonville. They will also be performing on Friday, March 31st for the 6th annual Jazz Festival, featuring several other Jazz ensembles.

The concert started out with the Latin Ensemble playing El Shing-A-Ling by Poncho Sanchez followed by Guantanamera by Jose Fernandez. Several of the wind players and percussionists were featured in solos for these pieces. This included Benji Bess on piano and Danny Moore, Daniel Allen and Parker Niece on several different percussion instruments. They ended their portion of the program with So What by Miles Davis.

The Steel Band performed next. Their portion started off with the famous piece called, “William Tell” by Gioachino Rossini. They also played familiar pieces like “Knee Deep” by the Zac Brown Band. This was arranged by Kramer Smith, a tenor steel

drum player.

The Latin Ensemble and the Steel Band joined forces later in the program to create a combined and unique sound. The combined band played two songs, which included “Another Star” by Stevie Wonder and “Jungle Boogie” by Kool and the Gang.

The concert ended by the replaying “William Tell,” but this time, it was slightly different. It was given more of a rock vibe by letting Colin James play the drum set. At the end of the piece, James played a fast and energetic drum solo. When he concluded, the audience erupted with cheers and gave a standing ovation.

The concert was a success. The musicians were happy with their performance. Kevin Geeter, a steel band performer, loves what he does and described it as, “It doesn’t feel like another ensemble. It feels like I have time to relax and have fun doing something different than normal,” said Geeter.

Other performers, like Shelby Hudgins love the freedom being in Steel Band provides.

The energy in the room was unimaginable and the audience agreed that it was an entertaining concert to watch. Both ensembles have performances left in the semester and all are encouraged to join.

Annual Miss Manly Mason makes money

By Hannah Ashford

Staff Writer                                               

On Friday, Oct. 21, the annual womanless beauty pageant, Miss Manly Mason, was held in the Performance Center. Sigma Alpha Iota has been hosting the event since 1994.
Sigma Alpha Iota is a Women’s Music Fraternity that is known for raising money for struggling music programs. These programs usually have a lack of funds or experience cuts in what funds are present. There may also be students who do not have instruments to play or do not have adequate instruments.

Organizations such as ΣAI help these programs and by donating money or instruments. Sigma Alpha Iota contains a variety of young women all with a sincere interest in music.

SAI sisters Katy Williams and Jennie Tanner show odd their manly makeup at the Miss Manly Mason pageant.

This year Miss Manly Mason had seventeen male participants. Each participant dressed as a woman and gave themselves stage names. Women of ΣAI also dressed up as the opposite gender. During the pageant, each man participated in the talent and formal portion. The judges for the pageant included SGA president Jesslan Sharp, tuba and euphonium professor Chris Hosmer and ΣAI president Katelyn McGee. The hosts for the pageant were

CJ Sliney and Shelby Cribb, both members of ΣAI. They were dressed as men as well.

Before the event started, all the participants got on stage and did a choreographed dance. They even went out and interacted with the audience. It got the crowd going for the very entertaining event ahead. In the talent portion of the pageant, there were a variety of acts including singing, playing instruments and dancing. 20J player and People’s Choice award winner Tyler Crowe ate a Carolina Reaper pepper and then danced to a Beyoncé hit.

“That was funny, but I’m impressed that he made it through,” a student said after Tyler’s act.

Contestants of Miss Manly Mason perform a group dance. (photo by Hannah Ashford/The Chanticleer)

There were many talented participants, and the large crowd cheered and clapped loudly for everyone.

As an intermission before awards, a Jazz combo played a few songs. As their performance went on, both saxophone players began to do a miniature battle between each other.     
First runner up Dallas Dotson played guitar and sang “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper. During the awards, it was first announced that Dallas was the crowned the winner, but then the hosts announced that there was a mistake and that he was first runner up instead. This mimicked the ending of the Miss Universe Pageant with Steve Harvey.

Drew Bradley or “Summer Clearance” was crowned the winner of the pageant. His act included singing as Anna and Madison Baldwin as Hans in the song “Love is an Open Door” from the movie Frozen.

“I am very excited to have been crowned. But let’s not forget all the other talented participants here as well!” Drew said after the pageant.

Miss Manly Mason was an overall success with ΣAI raising about $600. The Music Fraternity is also selling Miss Manly T-Shirts to help raise money as well.

Participants in the 2016 Miss Manly Mason pageant pose with Chris Hosmer, one of the judges and a tuba and euphonium instructor at JSU. (photo courtesy of Tairi Vital)