Orchestra concert jazzes things up


At the 10th annual Orchestra Benefit Concert on February 18, swinging jazz music could be heard, contrasting the usual classical orchestra music. The concert featured guest artist Randy Sabien and his band. During the concert, orchestra students performed alongside the jazz violinist, and also listened to his band perform.

According to Erin Szablewski, junior, the contrasting style of music was a new and deviating experience.

“It was different because we usually play classical music that’s not so contemporary,” Szablewski said.  “It was different in the fact that we used jazz rhythm and scales.”

Abby Schill, sophomore, agreed and said it brought a new learning experience.

“It was interesting to learn how to play in a jazz style because it’s not as laid out as classical music,” Schill said.

“There’s improv and you can take liberties in some of the rhythms … which is interesting to learn how to do.”

Karen Frink, orchestra director, brought in Sabien because of the growing popularity of strings in more contemporary music.

“Because of the music that’s happening right now, … there’s a lot of interest in alternative styles of playing,” Frink said. “I think its good for them to be exposed to string players who aren’t playing just classical music.”

6a randy
(Olivia Loomis) Randy Sabien, accompanied by his band, plays alongside the combined Chamber and Symphony orchestras. The students were delighted and challenged in their exposure to jazz.

According to students, they also enjoyed listening to Sabien and his band. “Listening to Randy Sabien and his band play was really fun. I thoroughly enjoyed their set,” Szablewski said.

Katie Love, junior, agreed.

“It was interesting listening to him play with his band,” Love said.

A portion of the funds raised at the benefit concert will go to the Orchestra Boosters, to cover some costs on the upcoming trip to Europe.

“We can afford to rent basses in Europe so we don’t have to fly them over there because they easily break … We can transport the cellos in a way so they don’t break,” Szablewski said.

The trip is an event many students are counting down the days until.

“I’m so excited.  Its going to be cool because we’re playing with a choir in Barcelona and we’re playing some songs that were written by composers from Barcelona,” Schill said.

“I am greatly looking forward to the spring break trip to Barcelona and Avignon,” Szablewski said. “I think it’s going to be a really cool experience for everyone and it’s going to be amazing to experience different cultures and how people appreciate music.”

Frink is also excited and enthusiastic about the result of the benefit concert.

“It was a great success … It’s always fun for me to bring in professionals,” Frink said.

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