Concert Pays Tribute to Legends and a Veteran
The final concert of the year is always a big one. It’s when young musicians who are moving on to the next stage of their careers get the opportunity to wail away with the talents they’ve accumulated in their time at Angelina College while jamming with some of the “old” guys who have shown them the ropes. AC’s Swinging Roadrunner Jazz Band and the ACC Big Band will pull out all the stops in a concert scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26 at the Hudgins Hall Auditorium.
The jazz combo will highlight music from legends such as Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter and Weather Report, while the ACC Big Band will pay tribute to Count Basie. The Big Band also will celebrate the life of Iraqi War veteran Specialist Keith Girardi-Pulley (March 18, 1986-April 26, 2011), a systems operator-analyst with the Army’s 86th Signal Battalion and the son of the Big Band’s own Bethe Girardi. Under the guidance of director Larry Greer, the young musicians will show off their considerable talents and versatility while resurrecting selections from contemporary music and jazz standards.
Greer, a music instructor for AC’s Fine Arts Division, assembles his unique blend of college musicians as each semester progresses, measuring their talents to see just where they fit into the Swinging Roadrunner Combo. He then showcases those talents in fall and spring concerts that have become one of the area’s most popular musical attractions. For Tuesday’s show, the bands will pay tribute to JAM (Jazz Appreciation Month), modelling the music of Miles Davis and the contemporary ‘70s jazz rock fusion group Weather Report. The jazz combo will be performing tunes arranged by Greer for a small group setting. The set list will include selections from the following list: “Milestones” (M. Davis); “So What” (M. Davis); “Blue and Green” (M. Davis); “Footprints” (W. Shorter); and “Birdland” (J. Zawinul).
Jazz combo performers include Max Vallejo (Lufkin), tenor sax; Jason Park (Nacogdoches), drum set; Stewart Haas (Hudson), guitar; Ethan Landrum (Hudson), bass and Larry Greer (Hudson), director and piano. Greer will also direct the ACC Big Band in its tributes to Basie and Specialist Girardi-Pulley. The scheduled program includes selections from the following: “Best of Basie” (arr. by J.Berry); “April in Paris” (arr. by B. Mintzer); “That Warm Feelilng” (arr. by S. Nestico); and “Moten Swing” (arr. by S. Nestico).
Performing members of the ACC Big Band include the following: Saxophones – Michael Parrish, Amanda Brown, Dixon Shanks, Carly Hood (alto), and Bethe Girardi (baritone). Trombones – Russell Hopkins (lead), Robert Shanks, Lavan Watts and Jimmy Battle (bass). Trumpets – Dwain Forsythe, Ricky Gay, Mel Miller and Steven Brown. Rhythm section – Eric Chinn (piano), J.D. Salas (bass), Mark Saldana (drum set) and Larry Greer (guitar).