With midterms behind us, the Lancers Jazz Big Band put on a soothing and refreshing performance for students and faculty to enjoy in the quad Thursday.
Conducted by performing arts instructor and jazz lover Andrea Wilkerson, the Lancers Jazz Big Band was more than in tune as they prepared for their big concert in November.
“We’re getting prepared for our big concert, which is in November,” Wilkerson said with a smile that exudes her love for jazz. “With more colleges and universities offering courses, there are a lot of cool things going on. We really enjoy performing for the students and the student body likes it. It’s exciting for me to introduce my history students to some of the new artists today as well as the old.”
With a recent influx of music majors and interest in the once popular genre, the big band put on an uplifting and much appreciated performance.
“Our department here has really kind of exploded in the last ten years, and I think it’s happening at a lot of schools,” Wilkerson added. “I just think people want some joy in their lives, in this frantic world we live in I think music is a great healer.”
In their first concert of the semester, the Lancers band put on an amazing performance that had the quad echoing great harmonies and people dancing to the beat.
“This is my first time hearing the band and I’m really enjoying it,” said Dennis Mejia, business. “They’re doing a really great job. I’m impressed by how professional they sound. Jazz is a mixture of very talented musicians and dance music. It makes you want to move and makes you feel alive.”
Although the Lancers Jazz Big Band is not very popular amongst Lancers students, the calming music and professionalism of the students grabbed the attention of more than a few students.
“I was unaware of our jazz band,” added Tyesha Perry, nursing. “They’re not bad at all I must say. It’s my type of music. I love blues music because it’s smooth and the band is just that, smooth, like the conductor. You can tell she really loves and enjoys jazz music.”
For faculty members like Cheryl Samuel, EOPS Financial Aid Assistant, the Lancers Jazz Big Band offers great music at an affordable price.
“The students out here today are awesome, just awesome,” Samuel added. “I am like a groupie. I have followed the band for years. Great jazz, the most affordable prices and the most talented musicians around.”
The Lancers Jazz Big Band is made up of twenty passionate students whose love for music shined bright in the quad.
“Our whole goal here is to go from one level to the next level and get the students playing at a higher level,” Wilkerson said. “Each time they enroll in the class their reading and their improvisational skills improve. A lot of our kids go on and win big scholarships to big universities. It’s all a process of becoming a better musician.”