Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Jazz ensemble sends off seniors

Dr. Michael Hackett (Mark Sheldon)

With the end of the year only a few weeks away, people are saying goodbye to friends, pupils, and coworkers who are moving onto the next chapter in their lives. But rather than bemoaning this parting of colleagues, people like Dr. Michael Hackett, director of Jazz Studies, and Jazz Ensemble I are celebrating their relationship with those departing. 

Tuesday, April 23, in Light Recital Hall, Dr. Michael Hackett led Jazz Ensemble I in both an appropriate musical transition to spring and a lively send off to those seniors in the band that night who would be playing with the band for the last time. 

The songs included “Us,” written by Thad Jones and included Anton Suacedo, soprano sax, soloing and by “Happy-Go-Lucky Local,” from Duke Ellington and soloed by Tommy Swanick on the piano,

Dr. Michael Hackett from Conn Selmer Website. ((submitted))

Claudia Acosta on bass, Anton Saucedo on alto sax, Ben Johnson on trumpet, John Woznicki on tenor sax, and Hannah Logan on clarinet.

The third song was Duke Ellington and Billy Strahorn’s “I Like The Sunrise,” with vocalist McKenna Camacho followed by “Too Close for Comfort” by Brock, Holofcener, Weiss, and Gordon Goodwin, also performed by McKenna Camacho.

The final two songs were “This Bass Was Made For Walkin’” by Thad Jones and had soloists Claudia Acosta, on bass, Alex Fiedler, Sam Strash, Ryan Cleaver, and Trevor Haglin on trombone and “Angel Eyes” by Matt Dennis, Earl Brent, and Eric Richards with soloist Alex Fiedler.

When junior pianist Thomas Swanick was asked which song in particular stood out to him, he named “I Like The Sunrise,” “Too Close For Comfort,” “This Bass Was Made For Walking,” and “Angel Eyes.”

“It’s really fun working with the vocalist McKenna … she’s a really talented performer.” Thomas then pointed out two of the trombone players and said, “I’m really sad to see those two trombonists go because they have really been main-stays in our section.”

Devon Powers, a drumist and freshman, stated, “For us, this was more of a celebration night … this is our last chance to play together at Whitewater, so we’re just throwing a big party, we’re having fun, we’re screaming at each other, we’re just laughing, we’re having a good time, and the audience picks up on that.”

Jazz students along with Dr. Michael Hackett eat together after a performance, Spring 2024. (( UW-Whitewater Jazz))

Powers went on to explain that the band had fun all throughout the performance, “but then some of us kinda realized, dang, this is the last time we’re playing with these people.”

He ended by saying that one could only have that sort of experience from attending a live performance. 

When asked how he felt knowing that this was his last performance with some members, Matthew Harvey, junior trumpet player said, “It’s definitely bittersweet … Some of the most amazing musicians that I have played with have been in that group and now, two of them are graduating … I’ve experienced members leaving before and it’s always like, you’ll feel it next year.”

However, he expressed optimism for future bandmates and noted how, often, new newer bandmates are often inspired by those who have left to reach their levels.


Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Liam Delmore, Arts & Recreation Journalist

Comments (0)

The Royal Purple encourages readers to voice their opinions via the online comments section. Comments may be monitored for appropriateness and viewer safety. If a comment is harassing, threatening or inappropriate in nature, it may be taken down with editor's discretion.
All Royal Purple Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *