2003-2004 News

Jazz @ Amherst wishes all students a safe and relaxing break! Congratulations to our graduating seniors and best of luck in your successful futures! We'll start in early September with our annual jam session!


Jason Blynn and Company performed at the Frontroom on April 4

Pictures from the Five College Jazz Festival

Check out all the Amherst groups in action this semester

Alumni Watch!

Homecoming 2003 saw several notable grads visit with our jazz ensemble and combos during the afternoon of performances in the Cage. Among these alums were Chuck Stevenson ('50), Robin McBride ('59), Jonathan Hirsh ('86), Jeff Thompson ('80?), Chris Vecsey ('03), Brian Hochman ('03), Adeyemi Cole ('02), Mara Levi ('01), Sarah Ingram ('03), Mina Suk ('97?), Carson Taylor ('03) and Lawrence Baum ('03). It was great to see you all and thanks for taking the time to check us out and check in with us!

Five College Jazz Festival

On Saturday and Sunday, March 6-7, Smith College will host the 2nd Annual Five College Jazz Festival. Saturday, March 6 will feature the Jazz Ensembles from Amherst, Hampshire, (guests Williams) and Smith Colleges. That performance starts at 7:00pm in Sweeney Concert Hall at Smith College. Sunday, March 7 will feature Jazz Combos from Amherst, Hampshire, and Smith Colleges plus a guest combo from the Northampton Community Music Center. Sunday's concert will be in the new Campus Center at Smith College and starts at 2:00pm. Please view the Smith College Jazz Ensemble website for more information.

Noontime Concert-Ann Maggs and Freddie Bryant

Join us in Buckley Recital Hall for a noontime concert featuring our vocal jazz instructor Ann Maggs, plus our Copeland Fellow Freddie Bryant. The festivities take place on Thursday, March 11 at noon. They plan to do some standards as well as performing some Brazillian and other Latin type music. A reception will follow.

Freddie Bryant

The Spring Semester 2004 finds our alum, Freddie Bryant ('87) back at Amherst as a Copeland Fellow. In this capacity, he is doing some composition, teaching some guitar lessons, attending and giving some lectures, and adding to the overall artistic environment of the music department. Many students have already had the chance to work with Freddie and found it to be inspirational. We look forward to continued interaction and hearing Freddie both practice and compose!

Welcome Back!

We welcome all students back to campus! We hope it was a great break for all of you.

First rehearsals will start up on Monday, Jan. 26, at the usual times. Combos will try to remain in the usual format of rehearsals, and the Jazz Ensemble will hit at 7:30 on Monday night, as well. Here's to a GREAT semester!

Jazz Students Heading Abroad/Returning "Home"

Jazz @ Amherst sends "bon voyage" wishes to Adrienne Showler, Jenn Morash and Jonathan Sturgis as they head off to Africa and Italy for the Spring semester. We also welcome back to our midst David Cyprian and Matt Stevenson, returning from Europe and Africa, respectively.

Pics are B-A-C-K!

After taking some time to adjust to the new server systems (read-technology!) here at Amherst College, we are slowly but surely posting pics from our fall jazz activities. For now, access these pics (both Combo and Jazz Ensemble) through the "Jazz Ensemble Pics" link on the left side of your screen, and scroll to "Fall 2003" link. Enjoy! Look for our Combo efforts in the same folder. As always-consider this a work in progress. Events that are covered include: Orientation Jazz Ice Cream Social, the annual September Jam Session, the residency of guest artists Rob Tapper and Kristina Ploeger, the guest appearance of Joe La Creta (guitar accompanist extroadinaire), the Faculty Jazz concert, the Homecoming and Family Weekend concerts (including some scary-looking folks!), the swing dance also on homecoming weekend, the Revolution concert for the Amherst Senior citizen center, the end-of-semester concert (with the guest group Instrumenches), and the combo concerts in the frontroom. Enjoy! (wow-it was busy around here!!!). Too bad there are no pics of the basketball game....!

Jazz Combos Hit the Frontroom!

All Five of our jazz combos will perform on two nights next week: December 9 featured the Prisoners of Jazz and the Fusion Project plus members of Music 35 (Jazz Theory and Improvisation) at 7:30 in the Campus Center Frontroom. Three more combos will perform on Thursday, December 11-Wrap-City in Funk, The Revolution, and Trane-wreck. This is also starting at 7:30. Please join us for all of these jazz events.

Jazz Ensemble

The Jazz Ensemble will be joined by the new amherst College Klezmer group, Instrumensches in their end-of-semester concert on Saturday, Dec. 6 in Buckley Recital Hall at 8:00pm. Join us for this festive event!

The Jazz ensemble and combos have earned a "short" break from performances. One to keep an eye on is the upcoming performance by the Revolution (a jazz combo at Amherst) at the Bangs Community Center-a part of the AMherst Senior Center. This will start promptly at 2:00 and last for a half hour.

The remainder of the performances will happen at the end of the semester: December 6 (Jazz Ensemble and special musical guests, 8:00pm in Buckley), and December 9 and 11 (Jazz Combos and Music 35, 7:30 in the Frontroom). Please join us for any and all of these events!

For Family Weekend 2003, the Jazz Ensemble will perform in the Frontroom on Oct. 31. The concert will start at 7:00pm, and will end a short time before the Orchestra concert (in Buckley). Check out both groups that night!

Jazz Faculty to Perform with Guests

On Friday, Oct. 24, the Jazz faculty members will be joined by special guests Rob Tapper and Kristina Ploeger, both of Eastern Washington University (close to Spokane, WA). It will be the conclusion of the mini-residency that will see Rob and Kristina work with students directly at Amherst, Smith and UMASS. Concert time will be 8:30 in Buckley, and is free and open to the public. Contact Bruce Diehl with any questions. (413) 542-8308.

Rosters Posted!

Thanks to all the students who auditioned to join our program. It was a busy four-day period of auditions. We have posted the results-and look forward to hearing great music from all the ensembles. Find these rosters listed under each section of the "Jazz Ensemble" heading or Jazz Combo heading. A hearty congratulations to all who 'survived" the process!

Welcome Class of 2007!

We hope you will get involved with us in the music department and find out about all the jazz offerings within the Music Department!

Welcome to Nathan Childers!

We would like to welcome Nathan Childers as an adjunct instructor in saxophone. He will be teaching here one or two days a week to cover all the saxophonists in our community. What an excellent opportunity to study with an up and coming (we think "already arrived"!!) saxophonist. Click here to read more about Nathan.


We will hold auditions this year from August 31-September 3. Please sign-up for an audition time outside Bruce's office (103) and take the audition sample piece to prepare. If you would like it earlier to prepare over the summer, please contact Bruce via email. It will be a *painless* audition designed to give me an idea as to your strengths and weaknesses, where to place you in a combo, and how to place you in the jazz ensemble (if interested). Be in touch if you have questions, as well.

Jazz-Inspired Jam Session!

On Sunday, August 31, we'll kick off the new academic year with a jam session. Though primarily a jazz event, it would not be uncommon for some blues and/or rock-inspired music to rip through Room 7. We aim to start around 9:15 (immediately following the introductory music department meeting for the class of 2007) and will play until we drop. There's also some food! This event is sponsored in part by the Dean of Students Office and the Orientation Committee. Please join us regardless of your ability or the amount you practiced over the summer. Be in touch with Bruce Diehl with any questions....(413) 542-8308. See you there!