This Friday at 8 p.m., Hillsdale students will have the opportunity to experience Plaster Auditorium’s inaugural performance — jazz.
The Hillsdale College John E.N. & Dede Howard Department of Music will present “Big Band and Little Big Band,” a jazz concert featuring Mike Williams, the lead trumpet for the Count Basie Orchestra, one of the most well-known big bands of all time.
“This concert will consist of the Hillsdale Little Big Band and Big Band performing jazz pieces ranging from the great American songbook to popular music from the 1970s and 1980s performed in a jazz style,” said Adjunct Instructor of Music Jonathon Gewirtz in an email. “The Little Big Band will open the performance with a short set and the Big Band will follow featuring the trumpet playing of Mike Williams.”
According to Director of Jazz Ensembles Chris McCourry, it is an honor that Wiliams is performing with the ensemble.
“Mike Williams was the lead trumpet for the Basie Band for 31 years,” McCourry said in an email. “He is a phenomenal high note specialist. Truly a one of a kind artist.”
The concert will feature the music of Count Basie and Maynard Ferguson. Audience members can look forward to hearing such classics as “MacArthur Park,” “Going to Fly Now,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Shiny Stockings,” and “Tenor Madness.”
Senior Carson Waites, a member of the ensemble, is most excited to perform Ferguson’s “The Spirit of St. Frederick,” especially alongside Williams.
“It’s going to be a great show and it’s an amazing chance to not only play with Mike but also to be the first jazz performance ever in such a great new venue,” Waites said. “This is my third year in big band and it’s the best group I’ve seen. We have a lot of amazing players and anyone who comes should expect one of the best student jazz shows on this campus in a long time.”