By Alyssa Roat | Contributor
At 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1, the Taylor University Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo will present "Classic Jazz" in the Rediger Chapel Auditorium.
The band members are excited to share their music.
"If you're not tapping your foot, we're doing our job wrong," said junior alto saxophone player Sarah Gorman. "There's something about jazz that gets your heart rate going and makes the audience feel involved in the music."
Sophomore tenor saxophone player Caroline Vaporis was also excited about the selection. After last semester's Beatles tribute concert, the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo will be returning with a lot of swing to classic jazz. She also said she could not wait for Gorman's impressive solo, "Harlem Swing."
Thirty-year adjunct professor Jeff Anderson will be directing the Jazz Combo, while Al Harrison, professor of music and chair of the department of music, theatre and dance, will be directing the Jazz Ensemble. Harrison is looking forward to this tribute to the historic aspects of jazz, stating that he thinks the audience will love an impressive lineup of soloists and a helping of blues. As he is retiring this year, this will be the final concert directed by Harrison.
"Dr. Harrison always picks engaging charts," Gorman said, though she admitted that some were very difficult. "We're all very sad to see Dr. Harrison go! He's given so much to the department and made each and every one of us better musicians. Personally, he's coaxed me out of my shell and both challenged and encouraged me to become a better, more confident player. I thank him for that, and I'll miss him."
But Harrison wanted to be sure Anderson also received proper credit for his thirty years of service.
Harrison believes Anderson brings students a professional view of jazz and commercial music, helping them start their own groups and promote their careers in music.
"(Anderson's) work over the years and his encouragement to our students has been phenomenal," Harrison said. "I cannot express in words how much I appreciate his assistance over the years in training our students in improvisation and jazz styles."
Admission to see this dynamic duo is free. If jazz enthusiasts can't wait until May 1 and need a sneak peek, Vaporis revealed that the Ensemble will be performing with Taylor Sounds for Grandparents Day festivities at 4 p.m. today.
"We practice all semester on the repertoire for this concert," Gorman said. "It's always exciting to finally share music we've worked hard on."