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Jazzing It Up

There seemed to be a growing static excitement and buzz in the air on Tuesday Nov. 13, 2012 in Potter Theatre as more and more people filled the seats of the theatre.

People were gathering for the Department of Music’s annual Jazz Concert. This year the title for the concert was ‘Let’s Do It Again.’ The show brought in so many people, the seating in the theatre was almost sold out.

The evening started with Steve Molloy, Artist in Residence, stepping on stage to direct the Jazz Lab. The 19 people who make up the Jazz Lab played a total of five songs for the audience to enjoy. Before the last song had started Malloy took time to say farewell to one of his students on stage, Dan DeClue, who next semester is traveling off to do some student teaching.

“I may even pay a secret surprise visit to Dan just to see what he looks like with short hair and a trimmed beard,” Malloy joked about DeClue’s long facial hair and the hair on his head that was tied back.

After the show Malloy seemed rather pleased with how everything went.

“I’m delighted as a matter of fact,” Malloy said. “You never know how things are going to go until you go through the actual performance. You can plan and practice and rehearse and inevitably something that never went wrong before does go wrong, or something that never went right before actually goes right.”

Malloy said that the Jazz Lab had performed the night before at Kansas City Kansas Community College and they had used that as a stepping stone for the performance on Nov. 13.

“Tuesday night felt like the band was more aware of what it could do,” Malloy said. “We used Monday night as a springboard to compare and contrast. We used Tuesday to step up a little bit more and settle some scores with things that went wrong the night before.”

Following the Jazz Lab the Vocal Jazz Ensemble directed by Kathleen Holeman, instructor, stepped up to the stage.

The 11 people in that section of the show sang a total of four songs. Holeman spoke very highly of her students singing.

“This is a thing of getting more jazz into the students’ repertoire,” Holeman said. “It’s learning more about how to sing parts independently from each other. The jazz harmonies can be incredibly complex and very different note choices than say in classical music. So it’s getting their ears use to hitting these supposedly odd notes and being confident about it.”

The show closed with the 18 students that make up the Jazz Ensemble directed by Bob Long. These students played the most with a total of seven songs for the audience.

Earlier in the day George Pepe, music major and one of the trombone players in the Jazz Ensemble who did a solo, was found trying to encourage students to attend the jazz show.

“Support your fellow students,” Pepe said. “You go to football games, you go to basketball games, you go to the art shows, you go to the tailgates and it’s all part of supporting. Especially if you live on campus, what else are you going to do right? You might as well go support your fellow student, we all work hard here.”

Pepe seems excited for what is in store for his future at Missouri Western after the jazz show.

“Really, this is just a predecessor for the Jazz Ensemble, because we are getting ready for the MMEA, which is the big state conference,” Pepe said. “Were the headliner for all the high schools and colleges throughout Missouri. We beat out all the rest of the colleges that auditioned for that spot.”

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