Pioneer Jazz Orchestra, Jazz 1 compete in CFA

Pioneer Jazz Orchestra director, Keith Lienert, challenged Jazz 1 to an impromptu duel in the Center for the Arts Nov. 6. The two participating ensembles competed by playing similar pieces.

Austin Rohan, junior instrumental music education major and third-year trumpet player in Jazz 1, said both ensembles played a combination of Big Bands and 21st Century Jazz.

The Pioneer Jazz Orchestra started with “Big Swing Face” by Bill Potts and ended their set with “Soul Vaccinatio” by Emilio Castillo and Stephan Kupka. Jazz 1 followed with “Count Bubba’s Revenge” by Gordon Goodwin, and ended the night with “Anvil Chorus” by Giuseppe Verdi.

Allen Cordingley, director of Jazz 1, said that for most of the concerts they try their best to include as many genres as possible. For this concert however, both ensembles had decided to go with an old school theme, which was emphasized in the pieces performed.

This theme was inspired by Cordingley’s experiences while he was traveling with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

“I noticed that a publishing company is starting to re-release a bunch of these old charts that I used to play with the Miller band,” Cordingley said. “When I graduated college I was so used to the very modern Big Band stuff, and once I started playing it took me a while to learn that old style.”

Cordingley said this type of music is not generally played in an academic setting. He felt it would be a great experience for his students to learn this style now so they are more prepared for future Jazz style ensembles.

A new addition was added to the Jazz 1 ensemble as the “Pioneer Sisters” took the stage. This group consisted of three women: Sarah Mueller, Madison Anderson and Megan King. Continuing with the old school theme, this group was created in an effort to mimic the Andrew Sisters who were popular during the Big Band era. All three women are members of a vocal quartet called “When Skies Are Grey.”

After attending one of their performances on campus last semester, Cordingley thought of the idea to have them sing with Jazz 1 with the hope of bringing a different dynamic to the concert.

Anderson, senior choral education major, thoroughly enjoyed being a part of Jazz 1 for this concert.

“As a vocal group, you never get to, or rarely get to, work with such good musicians,” Anderson said. “It was hard because it is hard to work with  jazz, where it is a completely different world. So it’s so fun to just sing together and sing this amazing music that stood the test of time.”

Anderson hopes that during second semester there will be more collaboration between the Jazz ensembles and the “Pioneer Sisters.”

The concert concluded with a standing ovation.

Alexander Caracciolo, junior electrical engineering major, was extremely pleased with this concert.

“It was fantastic. These two groups continually put forth an amazing musical effort, and it just keeps getting better and better,” Caracciolo said.