November 12, 2020 – The Santa Fe College (SF) Jazz Ensemble and the SF Winds Ensemble will each perform in the Jazz and Winds Concert Series free online performance at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. The video recording of the two bands will be streamed from the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Department’s website at sfcollege.edu/finearts. SF’s new Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands, David Smith, will conduct the two ensembles.
The Jazz Ensemble’s portion of the concert will begin with a Charlie Parker and Benny Harris tune, “Ornithology,” based on the 1940s bebop jazz style. Robert Murphy on tenor saxophone and José Manuel Bazan Torres on piano will be the featured soloists. “Dat Dere,” written by jazz pianist/composer Bobby Timmons, reflects the hard bop (soul) jazz style and will feature lead alto saxophonist Alexander Gurney and guitarist Hunter Lindsey. Other jazz selections will include original music and arrangements by Gordon Goodwin, Leon Russell, and Chip McNeill.
The Winds Ensemble’s portion of concert will begin with a John Philip Sousa march, “The Fairest of the Fair,” regarded as one of Sousa’s finest and most melodic marches. The next selection, “Man of La Mancha” by Mitch Leigh, is based on the musical that tells the story of the mad knight Don Quixote. “Man of La Mancha” will feature a trumpet solo by Taylor Burns and a trombone solo performed by Maddi Lea on the French horn. Other winds selections will include original compositions and arrangements by John Williams, Percy Grainger, and John Wesley Work, Jr.
“There were definitely some challenges in putting this concert together because we had a lot of music students who graduated last semester and then we had to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Smith said. “But our students have worked very hard to meet these challenges by playing different parts to fill in for various instrumentalists. And we have a wonderful new rehearsal space in the Lyceum, the remodeled Building E Auditorium.”
The work of researching and adopting protocols to keep everyone safe from COVID-19 has been ongoing throughout Santa Fe College since last spring, and the music program is no exception. “We had to figure out a way to keep band rehearsals and concerts safe, so I brainstormed with Alora Haynes, our department chairperson,” Smith explained. “I wanted the students to be able to play together, not individually, so we found specialized bags that can cover some of the instruments to keep aerosols from being released when the instruments are played. We would not be able to play together without these instrument masks.”
“We can’t wait to perform, to put on a great production,” Smith concluded. “The lesson here is that if we’re creative, patient and stay positive, things have a way of working out.”
In addition to the online performance on Dec. 3, Smith will be taking the Jazz and Winds Ensembles to two retirement communities near Santa Fe College for live performances during the fall term. Both The Village and Harbor Chase have on-site venues that allow for social distancing and other recommended protocols for controlling the spread of COVID-19.
The Jazz and Winds Concert Series is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and by the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Department.
For more information, call David Smith at 352-395-5313.