Tag: lori speakman

Roger Ingram performs at JSU Jazz Festival

JSU held its fifth annual Jazz Festival Friday at Leone Cole Auditorium, TMB Auditorium and Mason Hall Performance Center on Friday, April 8.

The David L. Walters Department of Music sponsored the event. The festival featured four jazz bands, six combos and a Latin Ensemble.

Guest Roger Ingram, who is a trumpet player, author and teacher, met with students to discuss his career as a professional musician. Ingram offered his advice on everything from life decisions to hitting the higher notes on the trumpet without killing them.

He recounted growing up in Los Angeles and annoying his neighbors by practicing his trumpet playing in the backyard for up to six hours everyday. Ingram started touring with jazz bands when he was 16-years-old.

He said he spent over 30 years of his life living in hotel rooms and traveling with bands.

“Those of you who are studying Music in school need to stick to it, and don’t forget why you started with music in the first place. Don’t become so caught up in making ends meet that you don’t give yourself time to work on your own creativity,” Ingram said.

He now makes his own mouth pieces and designing professional trumpets. Ingram published his textbook “Clinical Notes on Trumpet Playing” in 2008. He also offers Skype lessons on his website RogerIngram.com. Ingram finished up his speech with a concert featuring the JSU Jazz Ensemble I.

Performances featured Hoover High School “Hoover Jam”, Albertville High School Jazz Ensemble, Hoover High School “JB3,” Bob Jones High School I, Bob Jones High School II, Grissom High School “A,” Grissom High School “B” and Jacksonville High School.

Also performing were JSU Jazz Ensemble I,II, III and IV, Gadsden State Show Band, JSU Latin Ensemble, Enghauser Combo 1, 2 and 3, Carter Combo, Nelson Combo, Northeast Alabama Community College Mustang Little Big Band, and Northeast Alabama Community College Jazz Ensemble.

The festival also offered many different clinics for the students in attendance. Mart Avant, Sallie White and Michael Brothers each gave their clinics in the Leone Cole Auditorium.

Avant is a freelance trumpet/flugelhorn player and a principal contractor for the Tuscaloosa Horns. White teaches music theory at Hoover High School along with teaching the school’s first edition Jazz Band and Symphonic Band.

Brothers is the CEO and founder of a record label based in New Orleans and has degrees from Northwestern University and Loyola University in Percussion Performance.

Matt Leder, Larry Panella, and Chris Kozak ran clinics in the TMB Auditorium. Leder is currently a music director at Gadsden State Community College, and has performed as a guest artist all over the United States.

Panella is an associate professor of music at The University of South Alabama. He is also the director of the jazz studies program and founder of the USM Jazz Quintet. Kozak received degrees from the University of Massachusetts and is currently associate professor and director of jazz studies at the University of Alabama.

Steven Roberts, John David, and Rob Opitz each held clinics in the Mason Hall Performance center. Steven Roberts’ group “The Roberts Jazz Project” just released an album called Let’s Fall in Love.

Dr. Roberts is also associate professor of Jazz studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. John David is at Berry College as the Director of Jazz and Percussion Studies. David is the director of the Berry Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Percussion Ensemble, and the Viking Drumline.

Rob Opitz graduated from Northern Illinois University and earned his Masters of Music Education at Reinhardt University where he is now director of wind ensemble, director of athletic bands, director of jazz, and trumpet instructor.

Members of JSU faculty also ran clinics. Dr. Tony McClutchen, Dr. Andy Nevala, and Ben Weatherford held the rhythm section clinic. The brass clinic featured Dr. Chris Probst and Dr. Dave Lambert. Kenyon Carter gave the sax clinic.

Lori Speakman
Staff Reporter

JSU hosts second annual Minds Matter Rally

Students gathered for the second annual Minds Matter Rally March 10 in the TMB auditorium. The rally, which aims to raise awareness for people struggling with mental illnesses, was co-sponsored by BFT Promotions and Active Minds, Inc.

BFT (Battling for Truth) Promotions was founded by Gary Mank, who said the group strives to create positive environments through music and entertainment. Active Minds is a non-profit organization that seeks to spread knowledge about mental health disorders.

According to the Active Minds website, “With over 400 student-led chapters across North America, Active Minds is the only organization working to utilize the student voice to change the conversation about mental health on college campuses.”   

Paris Coleman hosted the rally, which featured testimony from individuals affected by mental illnesses, along with poetry readings and a hip-hop concert.

Jill Waters, who works with Bradford Health Services, gave her testimony on how mental illness affected her family; her brother fell victim to drug addiction and was diagnosed with depression.

Waters focused on the emergency consultation service that Bradford Health Services provides. During emergency consultations, the Bradford staff will offer their services to both patients and their family.

“Mental illness is something that no one wants to deal with. We’re here because we want to help the patient and their family,” she said.

After reading his poem “Beauty,” Carlus Houston spoke about the dangers of eating disorders. Houston is an outreach associate for Veritas Collaborative, which is a specialty hospital that offers treatment for individuals suffering from eating disorders.

He said that people who suffer from an eating disorder have a 31 percent higher mortality rate than people who suffer from other mental illnesses. Veritas has facilities in Durham, N.C. and Richmond, Va. Houston announced at the rally that Veritas has been approved to open a new 50-bed hospital in Atlanta, Ga.

Lindsey Baucom, president of the Jacksonville chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, spoke about the work she does. NAMI is a grassroots mental health awareness organization.

They offer education, support, information, and advocacy services. Baucom said that NAMI holds meetings every second Tuesday of each month.

The meetings are held at KL Brown Funeral Home in the community room from 6-7 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend. NAMI has various speakers who talk about various disorders, services offered and facilities around the area.

Lori Speakman
Staff Reporter

Jerrett Phillips emphasizes student relations, interactions

“I wanted to be able to look at your face and see that I have helped you achieve something that alone you couldn’t do,” said Jerrett Phillips, a candidate for the position of vice president of enrollment management, at an open forum event Monday in the Houston Cole Library.

Jerrett Phillips is the current Director of Enrollment at Northeastern State University, a title that he takes pride in.

Phillips has been working in higher education for 16 years since leaving a law enforcement job. Phillips said that law enforcement changed him, and that he started to view the world in a negative way.

When asked about an experience that he was most proud of while working in higher education, Jerrett Phillips thought back to his first year at Northeastern State University. A young girl came to him crying because she felt as though she had no support in her decision to go to college.

Phillips empathized with the girl by letting her know that he once felt the same pressure. He said he hopes to bring that “level of care, compassion, and honesty” to JSU.

Phillips talked about how the girl approached him at her graduation. She did not expect him to remember her, but thanked him for his compassion on her first day.

This is something Phillips says he will never forget. He explained how his experience working in higher education and his ability to build relationships qualifies him for the position.

One of the lessons that Phillips learned when first starting out in his career was the importance of trust in enrolling students. Phillips had just started at Bacone College in Oklahoma.

The college was affiliated with the American Indian tribes and had recently taken a new turn to rebrand their college. People were confronting him on the reservation saying that the college had failed their students. Phillips learned that it takes years and plenty of small honorable gestures to gain that trust in enrollment.

This trust is something that he says the college still has not gained back. He said that this is the reason he is researching JSU and interacting with the faculty as well as the students.

Phillips also talked about what he considers most important in enrollment. He said that enrollment management is about recruitment, retention and graduation.

Phillips said that he intends to tell JSU’s story and create a legacy. He also focuses on making connections with faculty and students.

He noted how important it is to get to know the community. He ended the forum with the final statement “I think JSU is great fit for me and I hope to make a huge, incredible difference.”

Lori Speakman
Staff Reporter