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Best College Jazz Bands

Best College Jazz Bands Most colleges/universities offer jazz programs for the student body, but for many schools they are not really programs, but a single course called “Jazz Band or Jazz Ensemble” offered and made up of whoever signs up for the class. This might be a fun course for the talented few and if you are lucky you might get a director that has some knowledge of the "big band" idiom. But there are exceptional jazz bands at the college level that earned the right to be at the top of the list.   This article features three of the best college jazz bands. We will explore reasons for this and some videos that will absolutely blow you away.

What constitutes a good jazz band? The college/university jazz band came about in the 1940's as it was greatly influenced by the big band "swing era" from that period. The instrumentation of these bands was:

5 Trumpets 5 Trombones5 SaxophonesPiano, Drums, Guitar, and Bass

A college or university that has a good music d…

Band Concert Program

Band Concert Program As the conductor of several concert and symphonic bands over the course of my career, I had the most fun programming for a concert. This task I did not take lightly as I knew that I had a responsibility to the audience as well as to the ensemble performing. The music had to be fun to perform, and entertaining to listen to. The concert performance had to have a first half and the second half and each balancing the other. Years ago, my dad used an expression that definitely had an effect on me. This expression that I heard him use many times had to do with sitting in a chair for a long period of time. The expression went like this: “ The mind can absorb what the fanny can endure.” Very appropriate when we’re talking about keeping a captivated audience in a concert.

This article will present a sample Band Concert Program as if you were attending the performance. Along with the program will be videos of each to view along with a set of program notes.

This program tha…

Do You Like Listening to Music?

Do You Like Listening To Music?
There are not too many moments during the course of the day that we are not exposed to some type of music. Whether it be music from sources we have no control of that are just throwing it out there for all to hear (retail stores, restaurants, our neighbors stereo) or self-directed music by way of our individual sources. (iPhone, radio, stereo system, television and so on).
Unfortunately, we all have mastered the art of hearing music without actually listening to it. We do this day in and day out and build a great repertoire of music that we like and play over and over and don't get the full meaning of what we are hearing.

To get the best out of our music, we need to learn how to listen to the music instead of just hearing it. In order to understand this concept we need to know the difference between hearing and listening. In this article we will explore the difference between hearing and listening along with some basic exercises that will help you t…

Concert Band Marches

Concert Band Marches
Most of us have attended a concert or two performed by a concert band either at an outdoor concert or an indoor formal auditorium setting. And, if you are like most people you probably love to hear the sounds of a good march. One of the oldest forms of music is the march. A spirited piece of music that gets the blood circulating in both performer and audience alike. 
The heyday of the concert band march was during the late 1800s and 1940s when just about every town had its own band performing informal as well as formal concerts for the public, sometimes on a weekly basis. Marches are still composed and performed today, but not as frequently as in years past. This article will explore the subject of concert band marches of today and yesteryear. Along with the information, I have provided a few great video examples that I hope you will enjoy. 
Types of Concert Band Marches Military or Quickstep MarchConcert or Symphonic March
The Military March, sometimes referred to a…

Why Do We Need Music?

Why Do We Need Music? There’s not a day that goes by that we are not listening to music in some way or form. This is not for certain regions or countries, but this is worldwide. Many scientific studies have stated that it came before language development in man. This art form can make us laugh as well as make us cry. It also can affect us spiritually and emotionally and truly be understood as the universal language. 
                              In this article we will discuss the question of - “Why do we need music?"

Man communicates through music on several different intellectual, social, and emotional tiers. Through the basic elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, form, and timbre, music can feature a psychological state in both performer and listener alike.
When musicians perform music for an audience there is a special emotional “giving” to the audience that occurs. At the same time there is an equally em…

John Williams Film Music Credits

John Williams Film Music CreditsProbably the most recognizable name when it comes to composing music for the film industry today is that of John Williams. Now in his late 80s, Williams has 51 academy award nominations and having finished the film score for another Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, he is in line for an Oscar to add to the five that he has already won. This article will explore the many accomplishments of John Williams and his film music credits.

Brief History John Williams was born February 8, 1932 in New York City. Raised in a musical family he studied piano and had hopes of becoming a concert pianist. While studying piano at Julliard with famed teacher Rosina Lhevine he became aware of the competition around him (Van Cliburn, John Browning) and decided that he wanted to become a composer. What a great decision!

                                                          Olympic Fanfare and Theme
Television Series Written by John Williams
 Playhouse 90 1958  M squad 1958 - 19…