JAZZ @ MIDDLEBURY
Jazz has been part of the Middlebury experience since at least 1934, when a group of students formed a swing band to play the music that’s come to be called America’s National Treasure. Jazz continues to be heard in practice rooms and performance spaces across campus. The Music Department supports a vibrant jazz scene with two organized activities for jazz players, periodic courses in jazz and other popular music genres, and jazz-specific private lessons in piano, voice, guitar, sax, trumpet, trombone, bass and drums.
The Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble is the College’s swingin’ big band. The usual instrumentation of saxes, trombones and trumpets along with piano, guitar, bass and drums is supplemented from time to time by vocalists and non-traditional instruments. A recent concert, for example, featured guest artists playing vibes, violin and harmonica, as well as a vocal quartet. The band plays the best of contemporary jazz compositions and arrangements, as well as charts from the classic swing and jazz repertoires. Membership in the band is by audition only. Auditions are held during the first week of classes in both Fall and Spring terms. The band rehearses on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 4:30 to 6:30, with additional sectional rehearsals as required. The SIJE maintains an active performance schedule.
The Jazz Workshop provides a weekly opportunity for students to work on jazz idiom and theory, improvisation, repertoire development, and playing in small groups. Beginning jazz players are welcome; advanced students and existing jazz combos are encouraged to participate, and may work independently during the workshop time, using the session as dedicated rehearsal time with a master class/critique component. Previous jazz experience is not required; proficiency on your instrument is. Auditions are helpful, but not required. The workshop meets Thursday afternoons, from 4:30 – 6:30, beginning in the second week of each term. Performances are encouraged and supported in spaces around campus, at 51Main (the College’s downtown bistro) and in presentations in the Center for the Arts.
We’re happy to feature several recordings of our current and former students. The recordings were made at performances in the CFA Concert Hall, using two fixed microphones mounted over the stage. The recording results are, unfortunately, not studio-quality, but the samples will give you an idea of the material we play and the great music we make together.
Click below to listen.
88 Basie Street. Composed and arranged by Sammy Nestico. SIJE, featuring Felix Klos ‘14, piano.
Bag’s Groove. Composed by Milt Jackson, arranged by John Clayton, Jr.. SIJE, featuring Grace Bell ‘13, vibes, Jeff Haswell ’12, tenor sax, and Peter Moore ’14, alto sax.
Caravan. Composed by Duke Ellington and Juan Tizol, arranged by John Wasson. SIJE, featuring Taylor Smith, ’12, alto sax.
I Hope in Time a Change Will Come. Composed and arranged by Oliver Nelson. SIJE, featuring Andy Singer, ’11, soprano sax.
Time after Time. Lyrics by Sammy Cahn, music by Jule Styne. Arranged for the Marty Paich Orchestra. SIJE, featuring Elizabeth Goffe ’09, vocals, Ross Bell ’10, tenor sax.
I Mean You. Composed by Thelonious Monk. The Felix Klos Trio. Felix Klos ’14, piano, Brian Parker ’14, bass, Joel Feier, ’13 drums.
Time after Time. Lyrics by Sammy Cahn, music by Jule Styne. The Felix Klos Trio. Felix Klos ’14, piano, Brian Parker ’14, bass, Joel Feier, ’13 drums.