The Troy University Jazz Ensemble will be under the direction of Dave Camwell, director of jazz studies and associate professor of music, starting this year.
The Jazz Ensemble held auditions in August and meets for class on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-2:15 p.m..
“Every day I get to work with them, it’s the highlight of my day,” Camwell said. “It’s really exciting to work with such a talented group off the get-go.”
Camwell, a new faculty member, studied music performance at the University of Calgary and Jacksonville State University. He received his master’s degree in music performance and music education at the University of Northern Colorado and his doctorate in music performance and jazz studies at the University of Oregon.
Camwell’s students said they already love him and look forward to seeing the direction he takes the ensemble.
“I really like Dr. Camwell, and I can tell that he really loves what he does and cares about the music,” said Zachary Vranich, a sophomore music education major from Pensacola, Florida, and a current member of the Jazz Ensemble.
The audition process for the ensemble changed this year. In the past, auditions were group-based, but they are now solely with Camwell.
“The audition was one on one with Dr. Camwell and consisted of a prepared piece and an optional improv piece,” Vranich said.
When asked what he most looks forward to this year, Vranich said that he was “looking forward to seeing more of Dr. Camwell’s teaching style and song selection” and “having fun playing great music with amazing musicians.”
The ensemble will perform its World War II concert on Oct. 27.
Camwell encourages people to attend the concert on Saturday, Nov. 4, as well, where the Jazz Ensemble will be performing in concert with professional clarinetist and saxophonist Todd Delgiudice. The concert will be at 1 p.m. in the Long Hall band room.
Camwell highly recommends attending this concert and watching Delgiudice perform with the band.
“Todd Delgiudice is a fantastic clarinet and saxophone player,” Camwell said. “He’s a fabulous player that teaches at the University of North Florida and was a schoolmate with me at the University of Oregon.
“If any concert is the one to go to, it’s that one.”
Camwell also hopes to involve the ensemble more in the community.
“I’m looking at doing something on the Square in Troy, and I’m actually talking to some of the students about visiting high schools,” Camwell said. “In the spring, we’re looking to take (the ensemble) to a couple of festivals, larger competitive and non-competitive jazz festivals, because this band needs to be heard.”
Zack Crews, a music industry major from Deatsville, said he is looking forward to hearing the Jazz Ensemble perform in concert.
“Just passing by the band room while they are rehearsing gets me more excited every time,” Crews said.
While Camwell said he believes the band will largely be the same, there will be some positions opening for the spring semester. There will be auditions and challenge auditions for these positions in December.