The Jazz Ensemble performs Nov. 21, and choir concerts will be Nov. 23-24.
With designs on giving its audiences new and different tunes to enjoy, Cal U’s student musicians are preparing for several on-campus performances.
Cal U’s Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Frank Stetar, will perform at 8 p.m. Nov. 21 in the Performance Center, inside the Natali Student Center.
This year the group is performing jazz pieces that were used for old television shows and movies such as The Bob Newhart Show, Taxi, Sanford and Son, Barney Miller, Rocky and Cannonball Run.
“Going back into the history, there were a lot of good pieces of music, and I wanted to see what we could do with them,” said Stetar, director of University Bands and co-chair of the Department of Music and Theatre. “We never really had a set theme, so this year we just wanted to try it and see what happens.
“It’s just a new twist and something different but our students are enjoying it.”
“I like the Barney Miller, and it’s fun to play,” said trombone player Jessie Halapia, a junior psychology major and member of the marching band who is in her first semester with the ensemble. “This has been a good experience, and I definitely think this will be a good show.”
Back to Back Shows
Two 7 p.m. holiday choir concerts directed by Dr. Randy Tillmutt will take place in Old Main Chapel on Nov. 23-24.
The Young and Gifted Gospel Choir will perform an assortment of songs on Nov. 23.
Along with older gospel favorites such as Harry T. Burleigh’s “Right on King Jesus” and Thomas Whitfield’s “I Still Wear a Crown,” the YGGC will also perform contemporary numbers such as “Set Me Free” by Myron Butler.
Butler visited Cal U and played that song with the YGGC in 2013, Tillmutt said, adding that Butler has played with noted gospel musician Kirk Franklin, whose “He Reigns” is also part of the Nov. 23 show.
“This is the first time we are performing ‘Set Me Free’ since 2013, and while our current students were not here back then, this is special because they love and are excited about it as much as I am,” Tillmutt said. “The audience will be treated to an entertaining range of gospel music.”
On Nov. 24 University Choir, Cal Singers, Acapella Stella, Vulcanize, and Isolated Incident will all perform.
Two songs from the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah --“Hallelujah” and “He Shall Purify” — will be performed. Another piece will be Mack Wilberg’s arrangement for "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”
“Other songs we are doing are not necessarily holiday or Christmas-related because our show is earlier this year due to the way the academic and holiday calendar falls this year,” Tillmutt said. “But because of that this year’s concert is very different from last year and should be most enjoyable.”
All three events are free and open to community.