Ensembles showcase skill in semester-end concert


The chamber and jazz ensembles combined to close the concert with ‘Smooth’ by Itaal Shur and Rob Thomas. Photo credit: Benjamin Pecka

The Music Department’s chamber and jazz ensembles took the stage to showcase the skills they learned over the semester at a concert in the Whitney Fine Arts Theater on Nov. 28. Professor Yolanda Y. Williams directed.

Student musicians in the chamber ensemble played a range of classical music from Italian and German Baroque to the Rumanian Folk Dances of Béla Bartók and the more familiar work of Jay Ungar.

The jazz ensemble then played the blues with Miles Davis, fused samba and jazz with Brazilian bossa nova number ‘Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars’ (or Corcovado) and rocked with trumpeter jazz musician Thad Jones’s ‘A Child is Born’.

Finally, the two ensembles combined to play the modern hit ‘Smooth’.

Ensembles at MCTC are different than most community colleges because they are inclusive as much as possible. Anyone who wants to play can usually participate.

Williams says that practicing with an ensemble teaches beginner musicians skills that cannot be taught in the classroom.

“There are many things to learn that you can’t get from practicing at home, such as adjusting volume. Ensembles also teaches community skills and how to get along, which helps prepare students for playing in a band,” Williams said.

Jazz meets on Mondays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Chamber meets on Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m. Students interested in joining these, or other ensembles, for next semester can email [email protected] for additional information.

Corrine Salone plays violin for the chamber and jazz ensembles. Photo credit: Benjamin Pecka
Yolanda Y. Williams quizzes the audience on the difference between in Baroque styles between Italian composer Tomaso Albinoni and German composer Georg P. Telemann. Photo credit: Benjamin Pecka
Argentina Lerma, violin soloist, plays Ashokan Farewell. Photo credit: Benjamin Pecka
August McAllister plays the piano for A Child is Born by Thad Jones. Photo credit: Benjamin Pecka