Jazz Ensemble and jazz workshop class held collaborative concert

Written by Candy Plascencia

Students, families and community members warmly welcomed APU’s Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Workshop class members to the stage of Munson Chapel on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, for a collaborative performance.

The concert, organized by APU’s School of Music, was named “Jump-Start” as it aimed to give students an opportunity to showcase their talents early on in the semester.

Richard Carey, professor of the jazz workshop class, said the concert is challenging because there are many freshmen in his workshop that have no prior experience performing at such a high level

“It’s only a month in and a lot of these kids have never tried to do something this high of a level before, and it’s basically putting the heat on them at an early time,” Carey said.

David Beatty, chair of the the jazz workshop members, addresses the crowd by cracking a light-hearted joke about his broken hand.

“At this point, I have run out of broken hand jokes,” Beatty said. “Let’s just say my major league baseball pitching career is off the table.”

The jazz workshop performed six different arrangements starting with the upbeat “Fantail” by Neal Heft and “Sportsman’s Mambo” by Bill Elliot. The jazz workshop then brought the audience to their feet with the swaying vibe of “Little Brown Jug” by Joseph E. Winner.

The ensemble slowed down the tempo of the night with “In a Sentimental Mood” by Duke Ellington, commanding attention to a few solos played by group members.

“Straight No Chaser” by Thelonious Monk closed off the jazz workshop section with an energetic song before the second ensemble took the stage.

The Jazz Ensemble continued the night with energizing and vibrant pieces such as “Vibes” and “Action Jackson and the Magical Disappearing Sock,” both written by Tyler Mire, and more soulful pieces to close out the concert. Throughout the crowd, people could be seen with their heads tilted back and were moving along to the beat in their seats.

Carlos Mendoza, a sophomore jazz workshop member, said the turnout of the crowd was phenomenal, although the concert itself made him feel a mix of happiness and anxiety.

“Personally I felt like I did okay, but I could’ve done better,” Mendoza said. “The biggest challenge I find myself facing is performing in front of my peers.”

Beatty came back on stage to close off the concert before the curtain was drawn, refusing to let the Jazz ensemble leave without a standing ovation.

“Both bands did great,” Carey said. “They killed it, and it was a very good experience for everybody.”