Vocal Jazz Ensemble Performs Nov. 27 in USAO Chapel
CHICKASHA – The University of Science and Arts knows about music … and all that jazz. Its newest music group, the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, brings a combination of festive and popular tunes Nov. 27 in the USAO Alumni Chapel, all performed with jazz style. The free concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public.
Dr. Ken Bohannon, assistant professor of music and director of the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, said the ensemble promises an entertaining evening.
“The concert should be a fun night of entertainment and culture,” Bohannon said. “Although the primary focus of its performance will be focused on jazz, the ensemble also includes songs from the popular idiom.”
The repertoire for the concert features jazz standards and arrangements of some Christmas tunes, but also includes selections from Bach to barbershop to the Beach Boys. Selected pieces include “Don’t Know Why,” “Oklahoma Rising,” “My Favorite Things,” “Amazing Grace” and more.
More than a vocal group alone, the ensemble features a bass, drum and keyboard combo.
Bohannon said the Vocal Jazz Ensemble is designed to travel and represent USAO and the Chickasha community.
“The goal of this new ensemble is not only to explore the musical talents of our students, but also to represent the university in a public manner by reaching out to high schools across Oklahoma,” Bohannon said. “This endeavor to recruit students will be across the board for music majors and non-music majors. These new students can only enhance our current ensembles including the Concert Band and Concert Choir.”
The Vocal Jazz Ensemble made it debut performance October as part of the Pops Concert, which incorporated all of the university’s performing ensembles. The group also performed at the week-long Bach Festival, an event which drew more than 700 listeners over six nights.
Vocalists for the ensemble include Ardmore communication sophomore Schuyler Austin, Mustang early childhood development sophomore Ryan Romasz, Tulsa music junior Elizabeth Sellers, Hinton drama freshman Tana Ferguson, Okay music freshman Brittany Mealer, Comanche music sophomore Scott Pitts, Rush Springs psychology freshman Blake Trammell, Fletcher psychology freshman Chance Wilson, Comanche music freshman Matthew Pitts, Headlton music freshman Mac Stephenson and Andrea Jones, a junior from Pleasant Hills, Ohio.
On bass guitar is Duncan music freshman Logan Rogers, drummer Tyrel Greenhalgh, a music junior from Chickasha and 2006 USAO graduate Rhenada Finch on piano and keyboard.
Bohannon credited the ensemble’s success to the university’s recent recruiting efforts.
“If it were not for a good recruiting year last year, this ensemble would not exist,” he said. “Seven of the students are either transfer students or freshmen.”