The Hillsdale Little Band and Big Band will perform this Friday at 8 p.m. Col­legian | Vic­toria Marshall

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.”