Band students perform ‘An Evening of Jazz’

by: SARA MARSHALL/Photo Editor 

As the sound of the instruments blended in the air, audience members waited in anticipation for the timeless music to being.

The South Plains College Fine Arts Department presented their fall concert, “An Evening of Jazz,” featuring the South Plains Jazz Band, under the direction of Dr. John Kennedy, associate professor of music, and Al Gardner, professor of percussion.

Community members and students alike were welcome to attend the concert on Nov. 10, free of charge. The performance was held on Nov. 10 in the Jones Theatre in the Christine Devitt Fine Arts Center.

“The band gets better every time they play,” Kennedy said. “This was probably the best concert they’ve done.”

Of all the songs played during their concert, the SPC Jazz Band’s rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” was quite honestly my favorite piece. “Superstition” is such a well-known song, and the musicians and the audience alike can get into the rhythm of the music. In addition to “Superstition,” the arrangement of songs performed by the SPC Jazz Band included “Killer Joe” by Benny Golson, “Fowl Play” by Kris Berg, and “Granada Smoothie” by Mark Taylor.

Jazz band members take a break in between music arrangements Nov. 10 in the Helen Devitt Jones Theatre for the Performing Arts. SARA MARSHALL/PLAINSMAN PRESS

“I try to pick pieces with strong historical value and musical value,” Kennedy said. “But also I want to find things that help the kids grow.”

Also performing at the concert were the jazz bands from Frenship High School and Coronado High School. Each band played an arrangement of songs of varying degrees of difficulties, getting their feet wet in the world of college performances. According to Kennedy, inviting the high schools to the concert is just one way they try to showcase the SPC Jazz Band and what the Fine Arts Department has to offer.

“This is a great place for the high schools to play,” Kennedy said. “It provides them with performance opportunities and gets them on campus. And the concerts are a lot more fun when there’s a lot of people.”

Dr. John Kennedy wraps up the SPC Jazz Concert Nov. 10 with a few words about the band in the Helen Devitt Jones. Theatre for the Performing Arts. SARA MARSHALL/PLAINSMAN PRESS

The SPC Jazz Band toured on Nov. 16 and Nov. 17, sharing their concert with potential SPC students and potential band members at four different schools in the Lubbock area. Kennedy says he hopes that they will come to see what SPC has to offer.

“I think we’ll grow enough to have two Jazz bands, maybe even three in the future,” Kennedy said. “I just hope to see kids keep their music alive.”

I believe all of the pieces performed by the band during the concert were loud and fun, adding to the excitement for those attending the event. From the moment the band members were readying their instruments, to the final notes, this concert did not disappoint.

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