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Jazz Band performs at Smith Music Hall

The Parthenon

Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 00:05

Smith Recital Hall featured the smooth styling of the 12.0 Jazz Band, the top jazz ensemble at Marshall University, Tuesday night
The band performed a number of selections from iconic jazz performers such as Count Basie, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton and several others.

The director of the 12.0 Jazz Band is Martin Saunders, a professor for trumpet and jazz studies.

“Everything we are performing in the concert tonight is a combination of what we have been working on for the past semester,” Saunders said. “The group has put in a lot of time and effort and it really shows.”

This is the band’s ninth performance of the semester including a tour in Cincinnati earlier in the year. While there they played at the Blue Wisp Jazz Club, a club which has houses jazz legends Jimmy McGary and Cal Collins. Saunders said the tour gave the students a chance to experience the real life of a jazz performer.

“We learned a lot about ourselves while we were on tour,” Corey Cutler, a junior management information systems major, said. “My favorite part about the tour was when we traveled to Ohio to help teach some high school jazz students. It’s something I know would have really helped me out when I was first entering the jazz scene.”

Cutler plays the drum set in the band. He says his role in the band is to works in conjunction with the bassists to help keep time for the band and also set up rhythmic passages for the horn section.

On several of the selections the band featured vocalist Mycah Pemberton, a sophomore music performance major.

 “This is my first semester with 12.0 Jazz Band,” Pemberton said. “Being a part of the band has made me a more well rounded vocalist, something I which will really come in handy when I try to make it in the real world as a performer.”

As the concert was nearing to an end, Saunders interrupted the playing to hand out The Pinto Bean Awards. They were formally known as The Garbanzo Bean Awards but Saunders said those were just too expensive to give away.

Awards were given to Jarohn Grandstaff for hanging in there even when he was yelled at, to Nate Bohach for being the most multifaceted musician, to Craig Burletic for always being consistent,  to Brad Goodall for stepping up to the plate and to Gabe Muncy for being the most improved.

Also highlighted in the concert was Jeff Wolfe, a music technology professor, on the trumpet. Wolfe played “Autumn in NY” by Vernon Duke.

Josephine E. Mendez can be contacted at

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