Jazz Band I Plays At Midwest Clinic In Chicago

By Drew Foote
Staff Writer

tv_News 10dbCHICAGO, Ill. – The University of Arkansas at Monticello Jazz Band I played in Chicago, Ill. at the Midwest Music Clinic during Christmas break with nine other bands from all over the world.

   The audience consisted of people from all over the world comprising the manager of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, military musicians and the leader of the Stan Kenton Band.

   The UAM Jazz Band received two standing ovations. They received the first standing ovation of the whole clinic.

   Bands applied to play at the clinic from all over the world, but only nine played. The bands that played came from Illinois, Florida, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Belgium, Virginia, Missouri, California and Arkansas.

   Director of Bands Gary Meggs said, “In the world of music, being invited to the Midwest Clinic for a college jazz band is the equivalent to winning a division I college National Championship in athletics.”

   “Blue” Lou Marini, original member of the Blues Brothers and conductor of the “Saturday Night Live” Orchestra, also played with the UAM Jazz Band.

   Marini originally suggested the UAM Jazz Band apply for the clinic after he heard them play a concert in Louisiana. Meggs said he didn’t think they were good enough.

   Marini simply said, “Well, I think you are.”

   Students from all over the country are inquiring to come here to study jazz because of the performance.

   “For me, this year is the best the jazz band’s been since I’ve been here. All the players are strong players,” Meggs said.

   Festivals and competitions from all over the world have been inviting the UAM Jazz Band I to play. These include: California, Canada, New York and overseas.

   Meggs said he was going to push the band to strive for the top level of professionalism from here.


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