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November 30, 2012
Vol. 54 No. 11

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Big Band takes audience back to the 1920s

The 1920s were resurrected at the Wednesday night concert for Susquehanna's Big Band. The concert, directed by Associate Professor of Music Joshua Davis, was held in Stretansky Concert Hall. "The funk arrangements are very close to the original [compositions] and should be a great pleasure for fans of the genre," Davis said. The group formed originally in 2009 and has been directed by Davis since its establishment.

The group presented a variety of musical genres at the concert, primarily funk and salsa, that had the audience dancing in their seats as the horns blared and the drums banged through almost every piece.

The band is comprised of 16 members, including: lead alto saxophonists, senior Garrett Pavlicek and sophomore Josh Heaney; lead trumpet players, junior Lindsey Bauer and freshman Maggie Rupp; and lead trombonist junior Molly Brown.

Junior Shannon Frick said her favorite piece was "Chili Today, Hot Tamale," written by Rick Hirsch, a State College-based composer.

"It was so awesome and so catchy. The samba beats made me want to get up and dance through the aisles," Frick said. "I thought the whole performance was wonderful. The song selection was excellent, and everyone just looked like they were having a good time. Professor Davis is a wonderful director."

The band performed six other pieces during the night, including "Soul Vaccination" by Stephen Kupka and Emilio Castillo, arranged by Paul Lavender, and "Take the A Train" by Duke Ellington featuring solos by juniors Lindsey Bauer and Molly Brown.

The final piece of the night was "What is Hip?" by Stephen Kupka, Emilio Castillo and David Garibaldi, arranged by Mike Tomaro. The piece featured solos by Coleman Rowlett, Dana Brown, Pavlicek, Heaney and a drum solo by Trevor Hinman.

The song featured a duo between the two lead alto saxophones, senior Garrett Pavlicek and sophomore Josh Heaney.

"That had to be the highlight of the performance for me. I loved it, and I could tell they were having fun with it," sophomore Kayla Wilson said. "It was amazing, and the whole concert was so expressive."

The Big Band is a part of Susquehanna's jazz program and includes as many as 20 student-musicians each year. It performs four to six times annually, including at Honors Band weekend and the Susquehanna High School Jazz Festival.

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