As a crowd of students tried to have dinner with friends on the second floor of the Theron Montgomery Building and erase the dreary feelings of a Monday, a small group of students began to set up.
They placed chairs in a line and put the music stands in front of them. They also assembled certain instruments. When the clock hit seven, Monday Night Jazz began.
Some members of the crowd just happened to show up for the event while others came specifically to listen to their fellow students play. Regardless of who happens to be there, Kate, a worker in the TMB said students always respond to these performances well.
She said “It’s very uplifting. It gets them very excited and energized.” As the jazz ensemble played, many students tapped their feet or nodded their heads with the beat of the music. One male student actually stood up and danced a little.
Some students try to come out each week to support the members. For example, Benjamin Pryor came for the second week, so he could support his friend Ryan Fragoso.
First-time listeners who just happen to be there still tend to enjoy the music.
JSU junior Haley Boneysteele said “I had a lot of fun. There wasn’t a dull moment. I feel like it shows a growth in the musical interests at JSU. I would definitely come back out and listen.”
On Monday, the ensemble played a variety of musical selections for the crowd to enjoy. Some of these selections included “Caribbean Clipper” by the Glenn Miller Bland, “Crocodile Rock” by Elton John, “Funky Feeling” by Matt Amy and a few others.
Between pieces, the group only took a minute or less before jumping into the next one.
Some of the pieces they played allowed for individuals to have short solos. Audience members were supportive and applauded the full ensemble as well as the individual performers.
The members of this jazz ensemble work under two men. The JSU Director of Jazz Studies, Dr. Andy Nevala is the instructor who is over them. However, a graduate student is also a director of the group and really does a lot of work for them.
The ensemble includes musicians playing a variety of different instruments. Some of these instruments include trumpets, trombones, saxophones and flutes. Students also played percussion instruments such as a drum set, and they used a couple of guitars.
Philip Treutel is the member who plays the drum set. He is a senior and is majoring in general music and minoring in communication. He has played in the Jazz Program for about two years and said he has enjoyed his time.
“I think it’s a cool way to get some exposure for the Jazz Program to the student body. It’s been fun in general,” Treutel said.
JSU freshman Ryan Fragoso is also a member of this jazz ensemble. Despite this only being his second semester at JSU, he has played jazz music for six years.
He said enjoys the ability to perform in the TMB and loves being able to play jazz music. “It doesn’t really matter where we play because I enjoy it regardless,” he said.
The Monday Night Jazz ensemble will perform on various Monday evenings throughout the rest of the semester. They will play on the second floor of the TMB and lasts from 7 until 9 p.m.
Arts & Entertainment Editor