Jazz ensemble preforms true musical event

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    By Michelle Garrett

    If the expressive, relaxing music isn?t enough, the Jazz Ensemble is also bringing BYU an event full of jokes and guest performers.

    They will perform today at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall in the Harris Fine Arts Center. Admission is $6.

    Auditions for this group occur every semester and reach a wide variety of students.

    ?The group is a whole gambit of the university,? said Mark Ammons, director. ?We have people planning to do it professionally, to people who just want to do something other than accounting.?

    Third-semester veteran Neil Freebairn plays trumpet and is one of those accounting majors.

    ?It?s a class that is a relief from all the other classes and work that I have,? Freebairn said.

    Jazz studies major and tenor saxophone player Stephen Tobian used to be a classical music major.

    ?I switched over because it allowed me more freedom of expression among music,? Tobian said. ?It allowed me to be more creative than otherwise.?

    The show will range from classic early 20th century jazz to recent contemporary pieces, Ammons said.

    Chinese-major Alex Crandall is a trombone player who has been in the group for two years. He said Ammons likes to incorporate funny stunts.

    ?It?s always an adventure, and there?s always a surprise, along with some good old-fashioned jazz.? Crandall said.

    Ammons said because jazz involves improvisation, it gives these students an opportunity for unique self-expression.

    ?Students have an opportunity to make up a conversation to share with the audience,? Ammons said. ?They make it up right on the spot and communicate what they?re feeling right then. It sets [jazz] apart from any other kind of music.?

    And all this will come together at their concert tonight.

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