UCO Jazz Band Sets the Stage to Perform

The University of Central Oklahoma’s award-winning Jazz Ensemble I is hosting a concert to honor the jazz studies program at 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursday in the Nigh University Ballroom A.

The musical concert is focusing on the sounds and talent from the jazz students who are part of the Jazz Ensemble I. There are a total of three ensembles that will have individual concerts throughout the semester.

“I am excited for this group to perform and showcase their talent,” said Brian Gorrell, Director of Jazz Studies and Ensemble I. “We have had very few practices due to COVID restrictions and weather closings the first few weeks of the semester.”

Jeff Kidwell, Assistant Director of Applied Trombone and Director of Jazz Ensemble II, agreed with Gorrell on how hard all the Ensemble I students have been working throughout this semester. 

“Despite having a rough start in this semester, they still manage to get their practice in for upcoming performances, which shows how hard they work,” Kidwell said. “I know Brian and the students that are part of Ensemble I will do an amazing job in their performance.”

Clint Rohr, UCO Jazz Lab director, also commented on Ensemble I work ethic throughout their practices. 

“Even though they have group rehearsals, individual practices are required before even attending group rehearsals because of the higher-level music they play,” Rohr said.

Ensemble I has practiced up to four hours a week since returning on campus.

Rohr also mentioned that most of the students who are part of Ensemble I have been playing since middle school and have earned scholarships to play at UCO.

UCO Jazz Ensemble I is one of the most premier university bands across the country. They received first place at the Monterey Jazz Festival in California in 2018 and were later invited to Switzerland to participate in the 2020 Montreux Festival, which was canceled due to COVID-19. Ensemble I and the rest of UCO Jazz bands are looking to host more events on campus and participate in festivals as the year progresses. As of  now, there have only been four concert events involving the UCO Jazz bands. All proceeds for this concert will go toward the UCO Jazz studies program.

According to UCO policy, guests who are attending the event are required to wear a face mask while inside the building. Social distancing will also be required in the building and the capacity in the auditorium will also be reduced. For more information on the policy and the jazz band at UCO, visit the UCO website and UCO Jazz Lab website.

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