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Get “in the mood” for the holidays with Purdue big band jazz
Friday, November 30, 2007
Getting “in the mood” for the holidays in big band style, Purdue’s three jazz bands present “Holiday Cheer & All That Jazz” on Friday, Dec. 7, a free concert packed with jazzy versions of seasonal standards – “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Here Comes Santa Claus,” “Hanukah Swings,” “Jingle Bells” and more.
The Purdue Jazz Band, American Music Repertory Ensemble and Lab Jazz Band all get spotlights at the Dec. 7 concert set for 8 p.m. in Loeb Playhouse of the Purdue Stewart Center. Admission is free. Preceding the concert is “Tuba Christmas,” an annual event where tubists and euphonium players offer low brass versions of favorite holiday tunes. It begins at 7 p.m. in the lobby of Stewart Center; admission is also free.
The whole evening’s designed to be upbeat and light. “We’ve got good seasonal songs that put everyone in the mood for the holidays, offering versions that range from contemporary rock to old style big band and lots of different vocals,” says M.T. “Mo” Trout, director of all three jazz bands. “It’s a very appealing family show that also shows off what our students do best.”
Given the season, audiences can expect nostalgia and they’ll get heaping doses of it in holiday arrangements by big band legend Glenn Miller. American Music Repertory Ensemble will perform a “Glenn Miller Yuletide Medley” along with Miller versions of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “Sleigh Ride.” In true Glenn Miller style “Sleigh Ride” contains some of his signature musical elements with a specific but tongue-in-cheek allusion to another Miller hit “Pennsylvania 6-5000.”
Two different arrangements of “Jingle Bells” spice up the concert. When American Music Repertory Ensemble tackles “Jingle Bells,” it’ll be the version made popular by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters. “It’s a really fun version with lots of scooby-do-do-doing and all that stuff,” says Trout. The other will be a modern arrangement created specifically for the Purdue Jazz Band, and this concert, by Purdue alum Chet Bauch, a professional jazz musician/composer/arranger from Dayton, OH.
The show’s other highlights include a Tom Kubis arrangement of “Deck the Halls” that’s “got a driving sound to it that reminds me of the Manheim Steamroller approach to holiday music,” Trout says. The familiar “Winter Wonderland” spotlights bari sax and vibes; and “God Rest Ye Merry Trombones” offers a spotlight to trombonists.
Audiences will recognize Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” as well as his “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” as recorded by Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Loesser’s “Baby It’s Cold Outside” as performed by Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting.
“Holiday Cheer & All That Jazz” is sponsored by Purdue Bands & Orchestra. The department works with Brent’s Bench to sponsor “Tuba Christmas.” The next jazz event is the annual Purdue Jazz Festival, Jan. 17-20, offering headliner concerts, competition, jazz jams and more. Visit www.purdue.edu/bands/jazzfest
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