Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Voices take the stage at BYU

BYU’s Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Voices perform their show “L.O.V.E” on Tuesday, Feb. 13. Future performance dates are available on the BYU music website.

BYU’s Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Voices performed their show “L.O.V.E.” at the BYU Music Building Concert Hall on Feb. 13, featuring multiple numbers about love.

For Nelson Schnepf, a singer in Jazz Voices and a computer science major, it’s worth going around campus and finding out about events, concerts and clubs.

Nelson Schnepf, a member of Jazz Voices, said to not be afraid to get out there and meet new people. “Because the more exposed you get … the more you’ll find things that you enjoy, and then the more you can participate in those activities and groups,” Schnepf said.

Schnepf decided to audition for Jazz Voices after going to one of their concerts, he said.

“I talked with them afterwards, and they said that anyone could audition and that there was going to be a couple of openings in the group, so I auditioned,” Schnepf said.

Dallin Jepsen, a drummer for Jazz Ensemble and commercial music major, said being a part of the ensemble is a dream come true.

Dallin Jepsen gives a stellar drum solo during a Jazz Ensemble number. Performances are announced on the BYU music website.

“I have been aware of the BYU Big Bands for years — since high school. Like my dream my senior year of high school was to be in Synthesis one day,” Jepsen said.

Jepsen said he thinks jazz is the most expressive and most organic live music there is. While most of the groups are confined to sheet music, jazz never sounds the same twice, he said.

“We’re able to come play as a group, and we have so many opportunities for solos … So we just kind of throw it together, and it feels alive when we play it,” Jepsen said.

Hayley Kirkland, the director of Jazz Voices, said what she loves most about this ensemble is the students. Because the music is so energetic and difficult, everyone has to be all in, she said.

Haley Kirkland joyfully conducts a number from Jazz Voices. Kirkland directs the Jazz Voices ensemble.

“You have to block out the whole world in order to learn this music, and you get really close to these people when you’re just all focused on this one task of learning this type of music and these very difficult pieces, rhythms, harmonies and everything,” Kirkland said.

The students have become great friends with each other, and she’s become friends with them, Kirkland said.

“It’s just this great community that we have,” Kirkland said.

The Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Voices are two of six jazz ensembles from the BYU music department, according to the BYU School of Music website.

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