Lewis Armstrong once said, “Man, if you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.”
Whether or not that holds true, the Jazz Festival took place on Saturday, Feb. 14, and featured Kansas City jazz band, The Project H.
The Project H is a seven-piece ensemble recently chosen as Kansas City’s best jazz ensemble by Pitch magazine.
In charge of this event was Bob Long, assistant professor in music.
“It’s something different for the students to hear. It’s just exposing the students to different groups that are around,” Long said.
In addition to this exposure for the students, The Project H had an educational purpose for being there. The Project H members were in charge of teaching individual clinics for different instruments.
One The Project H member there that day was Ryan Heinlein. Heinlein came in touch with Long thanks to a former Western student Heinlein taught trombone lessons to.
Having played with Long in Kansas City before, these two musicians have been trying to get The Project H to come up and play at the Jazz Festival, this being the first year they have finally been able to do it.
“Things [like this are] about the kids and getting younger students involved with not just jazz but music in general,” Heinlein said.
This event began when Long came to Western with the goal being that the Jazz Festival would be more educational than it was competitive. This event was free and open to the public, and has been done every year for nine years according to Long, and has a goal in education.
“It is aimed to help the schools in this area to develop their jazz programs,” Long said.
Various local high schools attended the Jazz Festival to perform. After performing their pieces, they were given pointers on how to better themselves in their endeavors.
This event was not just attended by local high schools, but by young children as well to learn about music and jazz while they were attending the Jazz Festival here at Western.
“I remember when I was a high-schooler, going to events like this and seeing clinicians or seeing professional musicians perform, those are some of my lasting memories of my high school music career," Heinlein said. "So, now that I’m on the other side and having that opportunity to do it for younger kids, I jump at the opportunity to do work with high school and middle school kids."
This festival provides an educational experience that not all students or children get to have.
Two members of the Western Jazz Ensemble, Tarquin Kellogh and Alex Hagenbugh, took part in the Jazz Festival. Kellogh points out that this non-competitive event is meant for educational purposes.
“Nobody is competing against each other and everybody has a chance to grow and that’s why I like to be a part of it,” Kellogh said.
Hagenbugh shares Kellogh's view on the education of the festival.
“It’s an honor for me to be a part of this. I love the philosophy of the festival, the way its set up is it’s more about education and teaching the groups," Hagenbugh said.
“The things we have been trying to do for this festival for the last few years is, again, further and nurture the education of the students in this unique American art form,” Long said.
Long hopes more students will be in attendance in the future to listen to the jazz ensemble and see what they can learn.
“I would like to encourage other people on campus to come hear our jazz groups perform, and it would be nice to see what other cultural music is on campus," Long said.
Applications for Student Government Association were due on Feb. 13. The SGA President and Vice President positions only had one applicant each.
Biology major Ida Haefner is the only nominee for the Presidency.
She is in her second year in the SGA. Her sophomore year she served as a senator.
Her junior year she became the director of communications. Following her duties for that role, she types up all the minutes and agendas for the SGA meetings.
“This coming year will be my third year in SGA,” Haefner said. “I really enjoyed starting as a senator and now working my way up to president.”
Haefner is currently the president of the Student Honors Organization after previously serving as vice president of advertising and historian of the same organization. She also works as an office assistant in the Honors Office.
She is also the secretary of the Beta Beta Beta Biology Society. She is also involved with the Navigators.
She is originally from Hillsboro, Missouri.
Current SGA President Daniel Hager is running for the Vice Presidency. Hager is a theatre and cinema major.
“I am looking forward to making more improvements to campus,” Haefner said. “Daniel Hager is the current president and will be my vice president, so I’m sure he has a lot of activities that he still has planned.”
Both candidates will run unopposed.
“It's exciting in that the unknown factor is gone,” Haefner said. “I don’t have to worry about if I am going to make it or not, it is just there for you. But it's still nice to go out and say, ‘Hi, I’m Ida Haefner and I’m your new SGA President, tell me what you want done.’
Although Haefner and Hager will be the only nominees on the ballot for each position, voters will have an opportunity to vote for a write-in candidate.
The Student Centennial Committee, funded by SGA, is finalizing plans to bolt a time capsule on campus. The capsule will be placed somewhere in Blum Union, to be opened 50 years from now – in 2065.
The idea is still in its infancy – details such as when and where the capsule will be placed, what the capsule will look like and how much the capsule will cost have yet to be decided.
Lionel Attawia, a member of the committee in charge of planning for the time capsule, isn't worried about these lacking details.
“In a way it’s not necessary to have every detail planned out right now,” says Attawia. “We would like to [have the bolting event] on a graduation ceremony – so this May or December."
Applications will be handed out to each organization president who is present at the President Leadership Conference. Then, in mid-February, applications will start appearing around campus. Email forms will also be sent to every student as well as every department on campus.
Students across campus have a wide array of different sentimental pieces they say they’d like to see in the time capsule.
“One of the original pamphlets from the Cronkite Memorial,” junior Mackenzie Whischmann said.
“Pictures of the whole campus, since they might build some new buildings,” freshman Aneisha Jones said. “I’d say a goose, but I guess that wouldn't work so well.”
“I’d like to see our 2014 Griffon Edge shirts,” freshman Kerminia Wellington said. “Or something like our centennial graduating class picture.”
“I want them to put a brick from the old Spratt Stadium in," senior Nick Helm said. “Or some records from the MoWo athletes that have gone pro, like David Bass or Mike Hill.”
Attawia stresses that no matter what your idea is, get involved and make an application for it.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to leave your mark," Attawia said. “Just to be able to have the chance to be part of something that is so long lasting is an amazing thing.”
The Financial Oversight Committee (FOC) formally requested $15,000 from the Student Government Association's roll-over fund to go to their committee for the purpose of funding student educational trips and conferences at the Feb. 9 SGA meeting.
SGA Financial Director and FOC Chairman Brandon Grieshaber came into the meeting with a $10,000 request on the agenda, but with recent requests from students and organizations, Grieshaber felt the need to raise the request by $5,000.
“This semester, when I came into office, we had about one-third of FOC funding for this year left and the good thing about that is is the name is starting to get out their and people are realizing that we have this money for people to use to go to conferences,” Grieshaber said. “With that we've been getting a lot more applications for individual students and organizations requesting money for funding and what we a beginning to see is that as they come in for requests and are approved, our funding is starting to dwindle.”
The FOC, in conjunction with the SGA, provides financial assistance for students and student organizations that wish to expand their education by going on trips to conferences and workshops. They will cover any fees for the conference, lodging costs and travel expenses such as gas.
“If we were to fund our requests this week and the next, we wouldn't have enough to fund the rest of semester,” Grieshaber said. “Part of the funding of SGA is so we can benefit these students by allowing them to go to these conferences and increase their leadership skills which also reflects well on Missouri Western itself.”
Jacob Teasley, an SGA senator, believes that the SGA needs to draw the line somewhere with the FOC, because their committee continues to raise their budget year-after-year as students continue to learn more about the benefits FOC can offer them.
“I think that we need to be strict with the regulations [on FOC] we already have,” Teasley said.
Teasley proposed that the money could instead be used to fund a project that he and other SGA member have been working on to build a mosaic art structure at the Kelley Commons.
“The project that me and Vice President Tyler O'Neill are working on is a Griffon mosaic, similar to Missouri Southern, who has a brick bear, the bricks form to make a bear head," Teasley said. “We were going to put it at Kelley Commons where there is a circular sidewalk piece with pie-shaped slabs that looks crappy, its cracked and doesn't look appealing.”
SGA always looks for student input on their decisions and their meetings are open to any students that wish to attend.
The SGA is scheduled to decide the issue at their meeting February 23 in Blum 220.
Western students came out in packs to witness the talent that their fellow peers were capable of. On Thursday, Feb. 12, Western Activities Council (WAC) held their annual talent show in Blum 218.
Many students and family members were in attendance to support the contestants. The WAC Talent Show was hosted by junior Mike Rose who entertained and amused the crowd.
In between acts, Rose picked out raffle tickets and the winners received two free tickets to the annual spring concert, featuring Ludacris, in April.
Vice President of the Student Government Association Julia Buescher was very proud of the amount of students that were in attendance.
"The acts just keep improving as the years go on. This is actually probably the best talent that we've had on our show since the years I've been here," Buescher said.
The auditions for the talent show were held over the course of two days.
Buescher explained that the candidates were chosen based off of how many people of the same talent auditioned.
"For example, if there were 10 singers but we don't want a whole act being just 10 singers, or 10 dancers, we would try and mix it up and then choose the best of three or four of those. So that way we can add a little variety to the show," Buesher said.
The talent act included poetry, dancing, singing and even beat boxing.
Sophomore Kiyale Walker was in attendance and was amazed at the acts that took place.
"Everyone did an amazing job, I think I might try out for this next year. I did not know you could do stuff besides singing," Walker said.
The talent show was judged by SGA President Daniel Hager, Multicultural Education Coordinator Latoya Fitzpatrick and Administrative Coordinator Dana Heldenbrand.
Ivory Cohens, winner from last year, preformed a duet with Romello Clark. Cohens and Clark danced a romantic piece together and as a result won the $100 first-place prize.
"It feels really rewarding, like all of my hard work paid off, and best of all getting to keep my title," Cohens said.
Missouri Western has held talent shows for its students for over 10 years and WAC does not plan on changing that anytime soon.