Students perform up-tempo jazz music in fall show

Taylor Boydstun

Staff Writer

The Troy University Jazz Ensemble performed an array of up-tempo jazz music in Claudia Crosby Theater on Friday, Nov. 4, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Boston native Michael Huff, associate professor of trumpet and director of the jazz ensemble commented on the song selection noting that, “This is a class for these students so (the songs are) mostly what we felt like they needed to work on and what they needed to learn.

“It’s mostly educationally based, but you know with the jazz ensemble, we do take into consideration entertainment value and quality of music.”

Music selection is limited for jazz ensembles as the genre has not been in existence for very long.

“It’s not like you can dip into Beethoven’s symphonies or go back hundreds of years,” Huff said. “The history of jazz is relatively short so you have to look at what’s available and what’s of good quality and kind of utilize that as well. They’ve been working really hard all semester.”

Students auditioned for the ensemble at the beginning of the semester. Though the instrumentalists of the evening were all male, according to Huff this was not at all intentional.

“I think that’s just the way it worked out this semester,” Huff said. “There are very few women in general in the jazz field. It’s unfortunate. It’s something that I know there’s a big push for right now – to get more women up there.”

Ernest Grimes, freshman human service major from Hoover, performed numerous saxophone solos throughout the evening in his position as the lead tenor.

“It went well,” Grimes said. “We’ve been rehearsing a lot for it … but it’s paid off.”

Grimes’ favorite song to perform of the evening was “Cute,” which Huff stated was dedicated to all the moms in the audience.

Holly Walker, an undeclared freshman from Hopeful, thought the concert was, “outstanding.”

“The performance was really well thought out,” Walker said. “And it seemed to be well-attended. It seems like everybody really enjoyed it.”

Fans can stay up to date on upcoming performances by following Troy University John M. Long School of Music on Facebook or visiting

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