Jazz Ensemble Reaches Audience

By Ferda Mehmet, student intern of CHASS College Computing

Jazz bandThe Department of Music was pleased to present its quarterly performance of the UCR Jazz Ensemble on May 21st at 8pm in the University Theatre. The performance lasted about an hour and a half with intermission, and featured students playing a combination of all work rehearsed in their Music 164 course.

This event trained students on interpreting traditional swing styles and performing in front of a live audience. It offered students the experience of creating music on the spot as well. Several of the musicians in the ensemble had an opportunity to create an original improvised solo during the performance. Featured soloists included four trumpeters, three saxophonists, two trombonists, one pianist, one drummer, and one guitarist.

All of the student musicians performed in high school and wished to participate in the University ensemble to continue to improve their skills as musicians. Director of Bands, Bill Helms, who began his professional career as a musician in 1965 said, "The vast majority of students in this ensemble are not majors in Music, however they dedicate a tremendous amount of time to the ensemble and its performances."

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