Bison Jazz Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Orchestra to perform March 1

By Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor   (Courtesy photo/The Bison)

The OBU Bison Jazz Orchestra (BJO) and Symphonic Winds Orchestra will perform a joint concert on Mar. 1, at 7:30 p.m., in Potter Auditorium. The performance will showcase two quite different styles of music between the Symphonic Winds Orchestra’s pieces and the Bison Jazz Orchestra.

“Concert [symphonic] band and jazz band play from an entire different list of repertoire. And so, you’re just gonna get a completely different sound from one verses the other,” said senior instrumental music education major, Brooklynne Seale. “Jazz band is also going to have instruments that you don’t normally see in concert band such as bass guitar, guitar, drum set, and like then usually an electric keyboard. And then, concert band is going to have a lot of instruments that you’d prob-ably never see in jazz band. So, their just two different animals basically – different music, different instruments, so different sound.”

All of the pieces that the Bison Jazz Orchestra will perform in the concert is new repertoire.

“We will play an up-tempo Latin arrangement of ‘Invitation’, an arrangement of Thelonious Monk’s ‘Blue Monk’, Freddie Hubbard’s “Little Sunflower”, and a Gordon Goodwin ballad, entitled “Second Chances’,” assistant professor of instrumental music, Justin Pierce said.

These pieces of music were chosen to fit the needs of the group.

“Every semester, we have a different band with unique strengths and musical talents. I do my best to showcase the musicians in the band at the time,” Pierce said.

Three of the performers in Bison Jazz Orchestra, as well as several members of the Symphonic Winds Orchestra will graduate this spring. Many of the students in both organizations have spent multiple semesters in the Bison Jazz Orchestra.

“I hope that the future music educators in the group will foster a love of jazz in their students,” Pierce said of the graduating students. “For everyone in the group, I hope that working in an ensemble has taught them how to work with a diverse group of talents to reach a unified goal. An improvisatory worldview will also open many doors, if they remain open-minded.”

One of the biggest challenges of putting together any musical performance such as this one, is schedule. Pierce said that one of his biggest challenges as the director of BJO is “Coordinating schedules of members of the ensemble, who are often involved in other campus activities.”

Seale, who is currently in Symphonic Winds Orchestra and has previously played in the Bison Jazz Orchestra as well, said that she had to eventually leave BJO since managing the schedule requirements of both ensembles at the same time had simply become too much. However, despite the schedule difficulties that rehearsing and performing presents, for some students, rehearsal is one of things they look forward to about participating in Bison Jazz Orchestra or Symphonic Winds Orchestra.

“Rehearsal is always, I guess, the best part, because we get to make music pretty much every day of the week. And as a music major that’s my favorite thing to do,” said Seale.

Another challenge for students is the work and time that it takes to prepare for performances like this one.

“Dr. Purcell [conductor of the Symphonic Winds Or-chestra] has really chosen some stuff to challenge us,” said Seale.“Which I personally really love; I love being challenged. So, the music that she’s chosen is really high-level music. It’s gonna sound awesome, but it’s been fun preparing for it.”

For Seale, her experience in music ensembles while at OBU will directly feed into her future career path, since she plans to remain in music after she graduates.

“I’m hoping to teach, preferably somewhere in the Tulsa area, as a band director,” said Seale.

The Bison Jazz Orchestra includes Alex Benito, Abbie Dean, Anna Dellinger, Matthew Anderson, Hannah Key and Madi Trammell on saxophone; Konnor Robertson, Jonny Dean and Allie Frank on trumpet; Sam Quick, Jarret Corbin, Isaac Reel and Jonathan Deichman on trombone; Demarcus Baysmore and Nathan King on guitar; Graham Griffin on piano; Trevor Schlosser on bass; and Tyler Smothers on drum set. The Symphonic Winds Orchestra includes Lauren Rivers, Sydney Barnes, Christina Brady, Dylan McFarland and Riley Bagwell on flute; Emari Benito on piccolo; Josie Edgar, Micah Wakefield and Emily Justice on oboe; Genna Frazier on bassoon; Leo Chavez, Madi Trammell and Alix Nelson on clarinet; Mike Creider on bass clarinet; Alex Benito, Brooklynne Seale, Matt Anderson and Hannah Key on saxophone; Jonny Dean, Konnor Robertson, Jordan Richardson and Ali Frank on trumpet; Sydney Thurmond, Tommy Peercy and Emily Dicus on horn; Sam Quick, Matt Shively, Jonathan Deichman, Jarret Corbin, Jason Martinez and Juan Marquez on trombone; Demarcus Baysmore, Krisha Ticer and Joel Tetmeyer on euphonium; Zach Fisher, Kasidee Norton, Jennifer Watson and Caty Bridges on tuba; Trevor Schlosser on string bass; Mitchell Manlapig on piano; and Gabi Bellair, Audra Jones, Cooper Fierro and Jarrett Richardson on percussion.The performance will be in the main upstairs auditorium in Raley Chapel, and is free and open to the public.

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