NEWBERRY — The Newberry College Jazz Big Band will perform its final concert of the season at 2 p.m. May 3 in West Memorial Recital Hall in the Alumni Music Center on the Newberry College Campus.
During the graduation concert, the band will recognize all the senior members of the ensemble plus the graduating class as a whole. This particular concert also gives local jazz lovers a final opportunity to hear the band that recently thrilled audiences as they hosted the 56th annual Newberry College Jazz Festival, with world-renowned trombone virtuoso Conrad Herwig.
The Big Band will feature a brand new composition by sophomore music major Andrew Schultz, which he has written for retiring director Bill Long. He has called the piece “Let ‘Er Fly Now,” a phrase Long uses when he wants things to get pretty loud.
James Boatright will do his take on Miles Davis’ “Blue In Green.” James and Joey Finley will do Doc Severinsen’s “Notte Roma.” James, Joey and Carlton Kinard will do Chris Wofford’s “En Sueno.”
New vocalist Elizabeth Chastain will sing two old classics, “Cry Me a River” and “The Best Is Yet To Come,” plus Brian Setzer’s “Jumpin’ East of Java.” She will also do Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why.” Other pieces will include “May’s Way,” “Goomba Boomba” and, of course, Woody Herman’s “Woodchopper’s Ball.”
The Graduation Concert is also the time when the Most Valuable Player award is given to the member who is deemed by the other members of the band to have been the most indispensable member for the group’s success throughout that year. The MVP award is given in memory of Charles P. Pruitt, long-time Newberry College band director.
The Graduation Concert is also the final musical event at the college and will be the final concert under the direction of Bill Long, who is retiring at the end of this year. The concert is free to the public.