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Standards Set Pace for Juniata Jazz Ensemble Concert

(Posted April 9, 2012)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College Jazz Ensemble will play standards and a few contemporary pieces in concert at 1 p.m., Saturday, April 14 in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.

Tickets are $3 for adults and free for those under age 18. Juniata students with a current ID are admitted free.

First, the ensemble will play Billy Strayhorn's "Take the 'A' Train," a jazz standard whose title refers to directions that Duke Ellington wrote for Strayhorn after he'd offered him a job as arranger for Ellington's big band.

Another jazz standard, "My Funny Valentine" by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart, will be performed next. The piece was written for the 1937 musical, "Babes in Arms." The piece has since been featured dozens of times in films, TV shows, and countless jazz albums.

Next, the ensemble will play female composer Consuelo Velazquez's "Besame Mucho" arranged by Frank Comstock, a song that has become a pop standard. The Beatles played the song frequently during gigs in the band's early days. Following Valazquez's piece will be Bob Dorough's "Comin' Home Baby," which was made famous by flutist Herbie Mann's instrumental recording of the song.

The ensemble will then feature Miles Davis's "All Blues." It joins the concert's list of jazz standards, and is a part of one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time: Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue."

Denis Diblasio's "Jackson Square" will follow. Diblasio is a former musical director of trumpeter Maynard Ferguson's touring band. The concert will conclude with Miles Davis's "Four," arranged by Mary Taylor.

Members of the ensemble are flute: Alex Debrecht, a freshman from Southbury, Conn.; alto sax: Kyle Kister, a freshman from Somerset, Pa., and Tyler NeuCollins, a senior from Solon, Iowa.; tenor sax: Brennan Cornelius, a junior from Orbisonia, Pa., and Briana Maddalena, a sophomore from Buffalo Mills, Pa.; baritone sax: Brian Gilbert, a freshman from Stroudsburg, Pa.; trumpet: Katie Downey, a junior from Warren, Pa., Elizabeth Faust, a freshman from Thurmont, Md., and Brandon Leckemby, a sophomore from Somerset, Pa.; drums: Jason Cox, a junior from Bethlehem, Pa.; bass: Aric Koestler, a sophomore from Palmyra, Pa.; guitar: Rich Schur, a sophomore from Blairs Mills, Pa.; and piano: Elena Popchock, a junior from Newport, Pa., and Ben Tansi, a sophomore from Wrentham, Mass.
Written by Ellen Santa Maria '12

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.