Hillsdale College’s Big Band will perform with guest drum soloist Jim Rupp at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7 in the Markel Auditorium in the Sage Center for the Arts.
“This is the big finale of the year for the big band,” Director of Jazz Ensembles Chris McCourry said. “We have been working toward these concerts since the beginning of the year.”
The Big Band will play a variety of music, according to senior Julia Hoyda, who is playing lead trombone.
“We’re not playing just standard swing charts. There are a lot of Latin pieces mixed in, and the whole program is a hodgepodge of styles within jazz,” Hoyda said.
Rupp said his favorite song he will perform with the Big Band is “Pools.”
“It’s a very sideways groove, and the [John] Fedchock arrangement is very creative,” he said.
Rupp first played with Hillsdale College in 2012 at the first annual Liberal Arts Jazz Festival.
“I had a wonderful time with the band and faculty, and I’m looking forward to coming back this week,” he said.
Rupp has played drums and percussion for 52 years, 39 of them professionally, spending many of those years traveling around the U.S. and internationally.
The Big Band performers are relatively young this year, as only six members returned from last year.
“I’m impressed by how fast we’ve grown and built back up to nearly the same level of repertoire,” Hoyda said. “Our first afterglow in the fall was the best afterglow the band has played in any of my four years.”
Hoyda said the performers will continue to match the talent of past years this weekend.
“There’s a lot to be expected from this group, both now and in the future,” Hoyda said. “We had big shoes to fill from last year but they fit pretty well, all thing considered.”