The music department presented a concert showcasing SVSU’s jazz ensemble on Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall.
The jazz ensemble played through a total of eight pieces.
The styles on display ran the gamut from the big band sound of Count Basie and Duke Ellington, to the bossa nova-infused “Blue Bossa” by Kenny Dorham, down to the funk-tinged Eddie Harris number “Cold Duck Time.”
Music education sophomore Lily Reyes enjoyed the concert.
Her favorite song of the evening was “A Child is Born,” by Thad Jones, which featured a flugelhorn solo.
“I liked the ballad,” Reyes said. “The ballad was really nice.”
Sophomore music major Vincent Frank agreed with Reyes about the performance of the ballad.
“It was very beautiful,” Frank said.
The concert provided SVSU student musicians a chance to show off their musical chops.
Music education major Matt Ingersoll played trumpet and guitar. In particular, Ingersoll enjoyed the opportunity to perform and listen to his fellow musicians’ solos.
“For me personally, it’s a way that I can express myself a little bit more freely,” Ingersoll said. “When I’m walking up there, and I have nothing in front of me to go off of other than my ears and what I’m feeling in the moment, that’s kind of thrilling.”
Ingersoll commented on how Jazz Ensemble Director Seth Ebersole inspired the musicians.
“He really encouraged anyone to take a solo, and there were a lot of people that took their very first solo tonight,” Ingersoll said. “You’d think they’d been soloing their whole lives.”
Ebersole praised the efforts of his students.
“I was really happy with all the hard work the kids did this semester,” Ebersole said. “They’re all excellent students, and they all put out a lot of energy this semester.”
Though the concert was deemed an overall success by attendees and musicians alike, there was one song in particular that stood out as an audience favorite: “Cold Duck Time” by Eddie Harris.
“There was a different energy when we get to that last tune and it’s a tune that we all like,” Ingersoll said. “It gets the crowd going.”
Occupational therapy senior Grant White agreed.
“I really liked that one because it was a little more faster-paced, but also … there was a guitar solo in there,” White said. “That was really odd, and so I liked that. I enjoy going to the concerts for other students because I kind of get to see my peers play and get to play out their feelings throughout their solos.”
Attendees also appreciated how the jazz ensemble offered an overall unique experience.
“It allows for people who have untrained ears and people who have trained ears to come together and enjoy music together,” Reyes said. “I think events like this are kind of a bridge between the community and the college itself.”