[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Two student musicians at Clarion University will have the privilege to play in the prestigious Army Jazz Ambassadors performance April 9.
Junior music education major Daniel Conrad and sophomore music education major Brian Miller, playing trombone and alto saxophone, respectively, have been selected to take part in the upcoming performance.
“I am extraordinarily excited to take part in this, because usually I don’t play trombone that often as a euphonium major, and these are professional musicians who have been playing their entire lives,” said Conrad. “It’s not everyday that you get to play with some of the best jazz musicians in the world.”
“The fact that I get to perform with them is pretty awesome. I’ve been dedicating probably about half an hour to an hour everyday to get it down,” said Miller.
The two were selected by Director of Bands, Hubert Toney, Jr. Toney said he selects students who “enjoy jazz” and would prepare “extremely well” for the concert.
Both students have been involved with musical ensembles on campus, including the Golden Eagle Marching Band, wind ensemble and jazz ensemble.
Conrad’s concentration is in euphonium, and Miller’s is in saxophone.
Another musician from the local area, Robert Gross will be playing trumpet at the concert. Gross is a U.S. Air Force retiree.
“It’s a great privilege for them to have the opportunity to play with one of the top military jazz ensembles,” said Toney. “All of the military ensembles in the D.C. area are the creme de la creme of military bands.”
“I’m a big advocate of jazz music, so this is really exciting,” said Miller. I never had the opportunity in high school or even here to have a jazz education, so I don’t really know about how to play jazz, but I love listening to jazz, and I love just to be part of something with jazz, especially with these professional musicians.”
The Army Jazz Ambassadors formed in 1969, and incorporate different styles of jazz music, including bebop, Latin and big band swing, among others. The ensemble also plays patriotic tunes, according to the Army Field Band’s website.
The ensemble has been described by The Boston Globe as “a cause to stand up and cheer.”
The Jazz Ambassadors is one of several ensembles under the Army Field Band, which also boasts a concert band, a soldier’s chorus and smaller ensembles.
The group has traveled through all 50 states in the U.S. and has played internationally, performing at jazz festivals in such countries as Switzerland, England, Belgium and Canada.
The musical group has been touring the northeastern United States this year since early March, and will be performing in other areas in Pennsylvania, such as Bradford, Wilkes-Barre and Elizabethtown.
“Whenever the band goes on tour, every stop they take they ask local musicians to come and play with them,” said Conrad.
“Being that they’re some of the greatest or top military band performers, we should expect a concert of an extremely high level,” said Toney.
The concert takes place on April 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Marwick-Boyd Auditorium. Although admission is free, tickets are required. For tickets and info, contact 814-393-2263.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_facebook type=”standard”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_tweetmeme type=”horizontal”][/vc_column][/vc_row]