November 2, 2012

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Department of Music Presents Three Nights of Concerts

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s Department of Music will present a series of concerts Nov. 4-6. The public is invited to attend. Admission is free of charge.

Pan-American Ensemble

Directed by Dr. M. Brent Williams, the Pan-American Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4. The group will play a dozen selections, including some with vocals.

The Pan-American Ensemble (MUSC 3890/5890) was founded in the spring of 2009 as an offshoot of PERS 2695. It features musicians from departments across the VSU campus and gives students the chance to perform folk music from many different cultures spanning the western hemisphere, including Argentine tango, Brazilian choros, Bluegrass Appalachian fiddling, music from the Andean mountains, western swing, Salsa, Americana, and Mexican mariachi.

“Every semester is a new but consistently rewarding experience for me as director of the Pan-American Ensemble,” said Williams, a member of the Department of Music faculty, noted violinist, principal second violin with the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, concertmaster of the Albany Symphony Orchestra, and assistant concertmaster of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra. “When I first started this group, I was responsible for 100 percent of the programming and probably 75 percent of the musical arranging. One of the things that I’ve enjoyed more and more about this ensemble has been the students’ input towards both of those previously mentioned categories. Now, many of the works you’ll hear at our concerts have been picked out by the participants and/or arranged by them personally. Not only does that save me some time, but it also introduces to me new tunes that I wasn’t previously aware (in some cases) and allows the students to learn/play non-classical pieces that they’ve heard and always wanted to perform.”

Pan-American Ensemble members are Catherine Blankenship (violin, mandolin, percussion, and vocals), Daniela Da Cruz (viola, percussion, and vocals), Mason Davis (percussion, guitarrón and vocals), Nancy Davis (percussion, accordion, and vocals), Eduardo Farias (trumpet, guitar, percussion, and vocals), Johnathan Thomas (percussion), Nathan Jones (piano, percussion, violin, and vocals), Sage Khan (trumpet, percussion, and vocals), Mariana Krewer (violin, guitar, percussion, and vocals), Alex Lipsky (violin, mandolin, percussion, and vocals), Alex Paul (cello, guitar, percussion, and vocals), Elma Sanabria (violin, bandolím, percussion, and vocals), and M. Brent Williams (violin, accordion, vihuela, percussion, guitar, and vocals).

Student Chamber Showcase

The Student Chamber Showcase will feature a number of students performing some 15 pieces of music as either a vocalist or member of the Trombone Ensemble, Flute Choir, Flute Quartet, Saxophone Choir, or other instrumental group. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 5.

“This concert is the perfect opportunity to hear a cross section of smaller ensembles from the woodwind, brass, percussion, string, and vocal areas of the music department,” said Dr. Elizabeth Goode, professor of music, flutist, and chairwoman of VSU’s Music Theory Area.

Performers, including a few faculty members, are Terri Parker (soprano), Garry Morales (oboe), Rachel Campbell (soprano), Leah Powers (mezzo soprano), Carole Parker (piano), Chandler Hill (trombone), Ranon Herman (trombone), Jacob Johnson (trombone), Justin Long (trombone), Joshua Watford (trombone), Austin Williamson (tenor trombone), Devin Driskell (trombone), Zachary Jones (bass trombone), Nicole Kessler (solo flute, flute, bass flute), Morris Bagley (flute), Anna Burke (flute), Asayla Everett (flute), Elizabeth Goode (flute), Julie Chau (flute, piccolo), Heidi Moody (flute), Kerry Murphy (flute), Karlee Norton (flute), Emily Reed (flute, alto flute), Theresa Griffith (bass flute, flute), Danielle McNeil (violin), Alexandrea Shavers (violin), Daniela Cruz (viola), Da’nette Stevens (cello), Tiarra Willis (cello), Fernando Chavez (soprano saxophone), Emmanuel Johnson (alto saxophone), Brennan Short (tenor saxophone), Landan Frazier (baritone saxophone), Alexandra Lipsky (violin I), Elma Sanabria (violin II), Larissa dos Santos (viola), Alexander Paul (cello), Trent Harper (bass) Shiree Williams (alto saxophone), Emmanuel Johnson (alto saxophone), Rodney Singleton (alto saxophone), Mario Thompson (alto saxophone), Akil Johnson (tenor saxophone), Gabriel Burns (tenor saxophone), Nick Johnson (bass saxophone), Joshua Weathers (double bass), Tiffany Ryce (violin), Maria Santacruz (viola), Raquel Cox (cello), Nancy Davis (vibraphone), Natalie Chang (violin), Mariana Krewer (violin), Mario Rivera (violin), Tugce Cavusoglu (cello), Israel Carrillo (violin), Jenny Zimler (violin), Sydney Passmore (cello), Jared McLeroy (bass), Esther Maloof (mezzo soprano), Sara Seligosky (piano), Tyler Walker (tenor), and Carol Mikkelsen, piano.

New Jazz Ensemble

Directed by Dr. Joren Cain, the New Jazz Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Selections include Bill Prince’s “Wednesday Afternoon,” Bryan Kidd’s “Bass of Operations,” Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints,” Chuck Israels’ “Trace Elements,” Frank Mantooth’s “Scam & Eggs,” John Green’s “Body and Soul,” and Benny Carter’s “Come On Back.”

“While many schools only have one jazz band, I am so happy that Valdosta State has two jazz ensembles,” said Cain, associate professor of music who teaches private lessons to saxophone majors and, in addition to the New Jazz Ensemble, directs the student saxophone quartet and one of the university’s student jazz combos. He also teaches the first year of jazz improvisation, for those students who are interested in exploring jazz performance.

“This provides an opportunity to a wide range of students to play this great American music. The New Jazz Ensemble not only includes jazz majors but also music education majors and non-music majors. The group this year is doing a great job on some challenging music, and it’s such a pleasure to share their enjoyment of the music with an audience.”

Members are Rodney Singleton (lead alto saxophone), Lee Hillmon (alto saxophone), Brennan Short (tenor saxophone), Gabriel Burns (tenor saxophone), John Pope (baritone saxophone), Sam Howell (lead trombone), Justin Long (lead trombone), Ranon Herman (trombone), Devin Driskell (trombone), Anthony Troupe (trombone), Jordan Beasley (trumpet), Chris Ward (trumpet), Darrian Johnson (trumpet), Evan Rentz (trumpet), Courtney Allen (piano), Joshua Rivers (piano), Garrett Randolph (guitar), John Tyler (bass), and Tyrone Tarplin (drums).

All three events will be held in Whitehead Auditorium, on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building, which is located at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street.

The Department of Music presents over 200 musical performances for the public each year and is a fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

On the Web: