Synthesis gears up for summer gig

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    By Holly Peterson

    It”s smooth sailing for BYU”s Synthesis.

    The jazz music group will perform on a cruise ship this summer, as the major music entertainment on board.

    They will perform on the famous Queen Elizabeth II, sailing from New York to London.

    However, while on the board, the group will take on a new identity. They will not perform as Synthesis, but rather as The Harry James Band.

    The title is a highly prestigious name that succeeds the famous jazz band, according to bass player Denson Angulo, 24, from Vernal, Utah, a graduate student studying bass music performance.

    The Harry James Band will be directed by a different director and play the music the band was known for, Angulo said.

    There will be a lot of old swing music from the ”40s, ”50s and a little from the ”60s, he said.

    The band will play for dances, banquets and serve as entertainment on the cruise ship.

    While only several performances will be done under the title of Synthesis, once docked in London, they will resume their title and perform on their own, Angulo said.

    The tour will last almost two weeks.

    It”s a great opportunity for the group, said Gina Randle, 21, a senior from Provo, majoring in music.

    As the only woman in the group this year, Randle said she has had an interesting experience.

    However, being involved in the jazz group would not be one she would trade.

    “It”s been a great experience that I”ve been involved in these past few years,” she said.

    She said she enjoys playing with others who enjoy the same type of music as she does.

    “Jazz is really an American art form. It”s so creative and spontaneous. That”s why it”s so much fun to be involved in,” Randle said.

    To prepare for the upcoming bon voyage, the group will perform tonight.

    Presenting a spectrum of styles from ballads to some pretty fast and exciting pieces, Randle said that the event should be very entertaining.

    Director of Synthesis Ray Smith described the music as energetic, expressive and powerful.

    Smith said this is the best band he”s ever had. There are tremendous soloists and just some outstanding jazz musicians, he said.

    The concert will feature several students.

    The concert will be Wednesday, April 11, in the de Jong Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for the public, $5 for students.

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