The Texas A&M Jazz Band will perform a unique set of contemporary jazz pieces that will showcase and capture their talent.
On November 13, the Texas A&M Jazz Band, made up of students from Jazz Classes 501 and 502, will perform at the Rudder Theater at 2 p.m., performing a variety of plays that show what they have learned and aim to reach a wide audience. . spectators.
These jazz performances are continuous and take place twice a semester. University jazz band director Chris Hollar said the specific jazz pieces he selects are meant to showcase a variety of music.
“I try to play something that’s a bit old, maybe from the 1940s or 1950s. I try to play something that’s from the 60s. I just try to cover different generations,” Hollar said. “I always try to include Latin tracks, you know, or Afro-Cuban tracks. I try to present a fairly diverse program and I think people like that.”
These concerts grew in size and also expanded the music and arts programs. Hollar said the program had grown tremendously since he started at A&M 19 years ago, as there was no orchestra and only one jazz ensemble at the time.
“We didn’t have an orchestra, there was no Mozart played on this campus. The liberal arts weren’t very big here,” Hollar said. “The school has really grown. The artistic part has really grown a lot, because there are so many students, and they all had that in high school and they want to continue in university. Now we have two orchestras, we have two jazz bands, we have three choirs, and we have everything that every other university music department has except the diploma.
Off-campus appearances at Bryan also raise awareness for the jazz band, Hollar said.
“I’m also taking the band to Bryan and playing at the Palace Theatre. We’ve been doing shows at Wolf Pen Creek to try and do a little more in the community,” Hollar said. “Another thing that really grew up, that’s my audience. I remember the first four or five years I was here, I was lucky to have 100 people at my concert. And now I have 300 to 400 people at my concert .
For students, jazz music is important to them not only because they enjoy it, but also because they can carry on the legacy of jazzmen who came before them. Ellie O’Connell, a sophomore in telecommunications media and trombonist, said her favorite part of jazz is studying the story behind it.
“Every time I play a new play, I really enjoy learning about the story behind it and the people who are performing that play,” O’Connell said. “It’s just such an important form of music because so many people from marginalized backgrounds were able to express themselves through this music and their voices were heard for the first time. I think it’s so important to continue like this.
Clayton Crawford, a junior accountant and saxophone player, said playing jazz music gave him expression and he also enjoyed having an audience.
“You can express yourself a little better through jazz, especially when you take a solo or if there’s a big solo section,” Crawford said. “Every time we finish, everyone stands up and claps and they all smile and they’re just happy. And I don’t know, jazz makes me happy and I like to see it make other people happy.
According to O’Connell, jazz means more than many realize.
“Jazz is so much more than notes on a page,” O’Connell said.
To learn more about how to join college jazz bands, visit https://musa.tamu.edu/auditions/ or visit http://boxoffice.tamu.edu to buy tickets.