free online slots

Spring concert ends school year on a high note

On Tuesday, a trio of musical ensembles graced the Memorial Hall Auditorium, filling the stagnant air with flowing jazz beats. This end of the year affair celebrated jazz classics and the talented students performing them.

The Vocal Jazz Ensemble, consisting of nine energetic, engaging, and professional students, directed by Joel Schreuder, associate professor of music, filed on first. All performers shared the spotlight equally between musicians and vocalists, emphasizing the evening was an apogee for every performer. The informal transitions and friendly atmosphere never detracted from the obvious effort each member exerted in their pieces.

The vocalists never left a note moribund, but always moved the melody through complex and precise acrobatics, with crescendos in all the right places. Armed with remarkable harmonies, the group preformed such notable songs as “I Don’t Know Enough About You,” where the group showcased their scatting abilities. The group was committed on fostering some smooth jazz fire in their songs, so they performed above common choir standards. For instance, Zachary Henderson, one of the evening’s scatting soloist, played his microphone like a trumpet.

Despite faulty microphone issues, the group concluded with an upbeat, utterly entertaining version of Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “September,” wherein soloist Brendan Mead’s vocals were as golden as the song’s title month.

Lane Swedburg, freshman of North Platte, sings “All, or Nothing at All,” composed by Bobby Caldwell, during the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Tuesday in the Memorial Hall Auditorium. — Photo by Ashley Swanson

Lane Swedburg, freshman of North Platte, sings “All, or Nothing at All,” composed by Bobby Caldwell, during the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Tuesday in the Memorial Hall Auditorium. — Photo by Ashley Swanson

You could tell they were all having fun, and that essential element, paired with the group’s infectious attitude, uplifted the audience from their pre-summer doldrums.

Jazz Band followed after the vocalists, filling the stage with 21 musicians. As their performance unfolded, it became obvious that the CSC Music Department has filled its ranks with talented, multi-faceted gems. Many students had stocked their belts with diverse, sharpened talents. Some of the Jazz Ensemble students made a repeat appearance, and even if a student wielded a singular instrument, they did so well.

Although lengthy, the pieces carried the audience through lively, dynamic musical landscapes. One particularly dapper trumpeter wore a sequined vest and bow tie – accentuating the evening’s eudemonic feel. To conclude their performance, Michael Stephens, assistant professor of music, recognized some of the graduating performers.

“The Spring Concert is the culmination work for us,” Stephens said, as he thanked the audience for attending.

As the jazz band filed off and the guitar ensemble rolled their amps into place, the sparse student attendance became evident. As the lights faded up to facilitate the stage change, only around 80 people could be seen, standing, stretching, and chatting with their neighbors. Many of these faces were students from the other two ensembles, who had taken to the audience to support their peers.

But if the students who support jazz are few and far between, the ones who do are enthusiastic.

This was obvious when the Guitar Ensemble took the stage. The crew faced many roadblocks in preparation for the spring concert. Charles Carey, the group’s director, had a sprained wrist, and Jeffery McFarland stepped in (a week before the show) to fill in an absent student’s gap.

The performance started off rough but caught wind as performance progressed. By the middle of “Phase Dance,” Thomas Frear’s and Tanner Johns’ impressive guitar manipulation won over the audience. Entirely electric guitar ensembles rather selective niche, but Carey chose accessible songs to appeal to the plebeian masses. Carey’s supportive exuberance gave the show some important levity. The acoustic crew powered through any discrepancies, and the audience recognized their effort.

To cap the evening off, the Guitar Ensemble preformed “Carry on My Wayward Son,” a song familiar to me from my Guitar Hero proficiency. My paltry virtual performance doesn’t hold a candle to the ensemble’s enthusiasms and spirit. Johns and McFarland’s contagious excitement bubbled over during the iconic song’s peak, enervated the entire audience.

The evening concluded on a high note, and as the audience dispersed into the unseasonably warm night air, the looming threat of finals didn’t seem so hideous, knowing there is always good music to be had.

Comments

Comments are closed.

Recent Lifestyles Articles

Little Mix pushes anti-feminist message with ‘Salute’

9 hours ago

British artists have been making a name for themselves in the past, and recently a group has caught my attention, an all-female group consisting of four early 20 year-olds. Little Mix made a name for themselves after winning The X Factor in December 2011.


Minute games test students’ skills

9 hours ago

More than 70 students had 60 seconds to prove themselves Friday night at the Residence Life Association event, Minute to Win It, in the Gold Room. RLA hosts Minute to Win It every year with a great turnout, and Friday was no exception. There were 14 levels of games. Chris Race, 20, sophomore of Omaha, […]


Best-selling author discusses writing mystery

9 hours ago

New York Times best-selling author Margaret Coel gave a lecture Thursday evening in the Student Center Ballroom as part of the Pilster Great Plains Lecture Series. The lecture was the opener for the Marie Sandoz Heritage Society’s 2014 conference.


Artist paints picture of career

9 hours ago

“Sometimes artists aren’t born with natural talent.” At least, that’s what Carel Brest van Kempen told an Introduction to Graphic Design’s class Monday morning. Brest van Kempen is a painter who specializes in animals and nature.


Various talents capture audience

Sep. 24, 2014

With two lights serving as a spot light on the stage in the Student Center lobby, various acts from singing, stand-up comedy, and skits entertained students Thursday for Late Night at The Pit’s Open Mic Night.