Grove City College’s Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra have cut a CD featuring student soloists and an original faculty composition.
“Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra 2017-18,” now available via streaming services Spotify, iTunes, and Apple Music and Amazon, is the brainchild of Music professors Dr. Jeffrey M. Tedford ’00, director of Orchestras, and Dr. Joseph Hasper, director of Jazz Ensembles. It features nine tracks – six from the Jazz Ensemble and three by the Orchestra – performed by student musicians.
“I am so proud of the work our Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra students put into this album. The countless hours in rehearsal and the tedious nature of sitting in a recording studio and playing the same music or individual passages numerous times takes dedication and focus,” Tedford said.
Music on the CD runs the gamut from pop tunes to an original composition by Hasper – “Three Hundred Thousand Degrees” – to three movements from Holst’s “St. Pauls’ Suite.” It was recorded in the spring and mixed over the summer under the direction of Tedford and Hasper at Audible Images Recording Studio in Pittsburgh.
“Working with the students on this project was an absolute joy. The professionalism they displayed in the studio was exceptional. The studio environment puts enormous pressure on any performer, no matter how old or experienced, and this group handled it like seasoned pros. I wasn't surprised at how well they did, because all year long I've seen the tremendous work ethic this group has,” Hasper said. “It was very satisfying to see a whole year of effort culminated in a tangible product the students can be proud of for years to come.
Falco Muscante ’20, of Elizabeth, Pa., has a saxophone solo on “Three Hundred Thousand Degrees.”
“It was a great experience working with Dr. Hasper on the jazz portion of the CD. Having the song I soloed in being one of his original compositions is both awesome and intimidating,” Muscante said. “I’ve grown a lot as a musician and as a soloist simply by making music with other talented musicians.”
Other student soloists and featured musicians include Kirsten Ward ’19, Alex Spaid ’18, Steven Maker ’18, Jordan Ranallo ’20, and Hannah Van Der Eems ’18.
The 2018 release marks the third collection of Grove City College music that Tedford has been involved in since 2012’s “Instrumental Sampler.” The College’s Department of Music released “Crimson Jazz and Strings” in 2017.
“Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra 2018” features these songs:
- “I Love Being Here with You,” featuring Kirsten Ward, vocalist. Written by Peggy Lee and Bill Schluger
- “Floating Home,” featuring Alex Spaid, Trombone. Written by Gordon Goodwin
- “Cut to the Chase,” featuring Steven Maker, Saxophone. Written by Doug Beach
- “Dark Orchid,” featuring Steven Marker (Saxophone) and Jordan Ranallo (Trumpet). Written by Sammy Nestico and Gary Gray
- “Three Hundred Thousand Degrees,” featuring Falco Muscante (Saxophone). Written by Joseph Hasper
- “Country Road,” featuring Hannah Van Der Eems, Trombone. Written by James Taylor
- St. Pauls’ Suite, Op. 29, Op. 29, No. 2. Movement 1 – Jig. Gustav Holst
- St. Pauls’ Suite, Op. 29, Op. 29, No. 2. Movement 3 – Intermezzo. Holst
- St. Pauls’ Suite, Op. 29, Op. 29, No. 2. Movement 4 – Finale “The Dargason”. Holst
To find the music online, search “Grove City Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra 2017-18” on Amazon, Spotify, iTunes and Apple Music.