Jazz Ensemble concludes the semester with “A Big Band Christmas”


Haley Dupre'

Students in the University Jazz Ensemble dressed to impress for their performance of their Christmas concert, “A Big Band Christmas,” on Dec. 8 in the Pottle Annex Recital Hall.

With the winter chills comes winter bells. The University Jazz Ensemble closed out its semester with a performance of their Christmas concert, “A Big Band Christmas,” directed by Michael Brothers.

After a slow start and several difficulties due to Ida, the Jazz Ensemble put on their Christmas concert as planned on Dec. 8, in Pottle Annex Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m.

Throughout the semester, the group was delayed from rehearsals and transferred from building to building in order to practice, after Pottle experienced extensive damage during the storm. 

Music major and lead alto Joshua Hebert stated, “It was really hectic with all of the hurricane moves in different classrooms, different buildings, but ultimately it was almost normal.”

The ensemble praise came through after the recital hall only finished repairs last week. With the damage done to Pottle, the ensemble lost several weeks of rehearsal and practice. 

Hebert expressed, “I think Mr. Brothers planned accordingly. After all of the moves and rehearsal space being closed down. He planned accordingly so that we could still pull off a good concert.”

Even with a bumpy semester, the students enjoy being a part of the ensemble. 

Music major Joshua Gaudin, a saxophonist for Tyler Kinchen and the Right Pieces, performs his solo for the “A Big Band Christmas” concert on Dec. 8 in the Pottle Annex Recital Hall. (Haley Dupre’)

Bass player Cade Vallot from Ponchatoula, La. added, “The best part of Southeastern this year was coming and doing the jazz ensemble with Mr. Brothers. He just makes it a very positive experience whenever you go into the rehearsals.”

This year, the group will be losing three seniors, English major and trumpet player Nicholas Herring, music major and percussionist Chasidy Miller and music major and alto saxophonist Joshua Hebert. 

Miller and Hebert will be graduating in the spring, but Herring will be graduating and leaving this semester. 

Brothers, the director of jazz and percussion studies, explained, “When somebody joins this group, they become part of the family, so to speak. Even if it becomes a giant dysfunctional family, it’s still a family thing.”

Brothers said he is sad to see them leave, but he is still happy to know they have finished what they needed to do and are going on with their lives.