Blues, boogie and brass: A deeper look at NGU jazz band

Graphic by Alex Miller

Graphic by Alex Miller

Alex Miller, Staff Writer

All semester long, the jazz band has been preparing for its big night. While its fantastic performance makes music production look easy, preparing for the concert has been tedious.

 This past Monday, North Greenville students, faculty, staff and family gathered in Turner Chapel for the most anticipated and attended cultural event of the year: the jazz band concert.

 With some opening introductions and appreciative applause from the crowd, the piano trilled and the concert began. The next hour included a variety of songs that carried listeners through all eras of jazz.

 Charlie Parker, the director for the jazz band, said, “We have to be careful which songs we choose, because we are a Christian university. However, in choosing the songs my goal was to give the audience the history of jazz.”

 He continued, “We started in the 20’s and worked our way through to the 60’s.”

 The concert included songs such as “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”, “Summertime”, “Mr. Zoot Suit” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. With the switch between upbeat tunes to slow dance songs, the crowd was always left in anticipation of what would come next.

 For the finale, student vocalist Mackenzie Wray performed a beautiful rendition of “At Last”, accompanied by student saxophonist, Tim Hogue. By the quality of their performance, as well as the rest of the concert, it is clear the band worked hard to prepare for the night.

 Parker said, “The most challenging part of preparing for this concert was the music selection. These were not easy songs to learn. From the audience's perspective it may appear as if the talent comes easy, but rest assured, the students had to work very hard to get to that point.”

If you’re interested in joining jazz band, it is offered every semester in the form of a one-credit class. Contact Charlie Parker or Darian Washington for more info.