Students express love for Christmas music and jazz


Traditional holiday music will be dancing its way out of the Light Recital Hall on Dec. 5, as the UW-Whitewater Jazz Ensemble I performs its last concert of the semester.

The ensemble will feature Duke Ellington’s “Nutcracker” at 7:30 p.m.

Ellington took music from the original “Nutcracker” and jazzed it up. The music is still recognizable but played with a jazz tone.

The piece has nine different movements.


Junior Anna Molloy, a music education major, said the songs will sound familiar if someone has ever seen or heard the original “Nutcracker,” which makes it fun to listen to.

Senior Andrew Baldwin, a performance major, said Ellington’s piece is special, because he took the original movement names and turned them in to jazzy versions.

“Instead of “Sugar Plum Fairy,” the title is “Sugar Rum Fairy,” said Baldwin.

Molloy said it was hard finding time to practice for the upcoming performance, because the end of the semester always brings challenges with homework, papers, and exams.

Baldwin said this piece had several nuances that were challenging for him, because there are some instruments playing a swing tone while others are playing a straight tone.

“We want to try and perform like they did originally, which can be really difficult,” Baldwin said.

Some people might get annoyed with Christmas music, but Baldwin said he loves it.

“Generally, all Christmas music is jazzy, and I love jazz, so inevitably, I love Christmas music,” Baldwin said.

Students must audition to be in the Jazz Ensemble I and can choose to receive a credit or take the course for fun.

Molloy has been playing the trumpet for eight years and has been learning different instruments little by little during her education as a music major.

Baldwin has been playing the drums for the two semesters he has been at UW-Whitewater. He also writes his own music.

“I love connecting people through my music,” Baldwin said.

Even though playing music can be frustrating at times, Molloy said it is the feeling of accomplishment she feels when she finally gets something, that makes her continue to play.

“There is always the emotional feeling one gets when they play or when someone comes up and says, ‘Good job,’” Molloy said. “It is just a great feeling.”

This is an event everyone will enjoy and costs nothing to attend.

Molloy said people should attend the event for, “good quality jazz in a Christmas style, and they’ll recognize some of the tunes if they have ever seen the ‘Nutcracker’ or the movie ‘Elf.’”

“It is a nice way to get in to the holiday season, and it will be a good time,” Baldwin said.

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