Jazzing it Up with the Jazz Ensemble

by Lenora Hollinghead

The Troy University Jazz Ensemble held one of their spring concerts in Claudia Crosby Theater Tuesday night. 

The Jazz Ensemble consists of 23 performers, playing instruments such as the saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and a rhythm section. The Ensemble performs two big concerts a year, as well as at festivals, tours, and many other events. 

The spring concert consisted of music chosen by Director Dave Camwell, some of which he played while he was in college. 

 “Orange Colored Sky brought back memories from when I was in the ensemble and it felt really great giving them the experience of this as well as being on the other side,” Camwell said.

Camwell has been directing the Troy Ensemble for seven years while also being the Associate Professor of Saxophone and Director of Jazz. Camwell finds music that fits the ensemble as well and consistently challenges the students. 

Throughout the concert, performers Jacob Tracy, Brenda Hamilton, and Zane Maddox were featured in the songs: “Babycakes,” “Orange Colored Sky” and “My One and Only Love”. 

The Ensemble has been practicing twice a week since the beginning of the semester in preparation for this concert. 

 “From all of the great songs they played, I would say that ‘Babycakes’ was my favorite due to the saxophone features,” said Christopher Neumann, a sophomore music education major from Eufaula, Alabama.

As the concert was coming to a close, John Mizelle, a graduate of Troy University from Northport, Alabama presented a scholarship in honor of his parents and dear friend John Long. This is an award that is awarded to a player who is the most deserving. 

The scholarship was awarded to performer Theo Hornsby, a trumpeter who is involved in The Jazz Ensemble,Marching Band, and many other school functions. 

“I have always strived to achieve this award as I’ve watched many of my peers receive this scholarship in the past years,” said Hornsby, a junior music education major from Montgomery, Alabama.

The ensemble will be having another large concert in April, as well as a feature in the pop and jazz festival at the end of April. During the festival, the ensemble will be surrounded by world-renowned guest artists like Tom Chessand saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown.    

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