By Trisha Stachowski
The Saint Mary’s University Jazz Ensemble will be performing Dec. 10 in the Page Theater.
The SMU Jazz Ensemble is under the direction of John Paulson, professor of music at SMU. Paulson came to SMU 29 years ago as an assistant professor and has been involved with the Jazz Ensemble since he arrived.
Paulson considers the Jazz Ensemble’s biggest accomplishment the fact that they have “gotten consistently better throughout the years. The band can read more difficult material and the solos have improved greatly.” Paulson points to the students’ hard work in the SMU combo program as groundwork for the increased successes in the Jazz Ensemble.
Paulson also added that the tours and the guest artists who have preformed with the Jazz Ensemble are big accomplishments. The Jazz Ensemble has toured cities throughout the United States, in addition to countries like Mexico, France and Canada, said Paulson. Additionally, Paulson said that several artists, such as Dave Liebman, Steve Slagle, Bill Watrous, John Scofield and Dean Sorenson have preformed with the Jazz Ensemble, as well as various SMU alumni.
According to Paulson, the Ensemble has been practicing rigorously for their upcoming performance since the beginning of the semester. “Our special guest artist will be SMU alumnus Chris White performing on guitar with Jazz Combo I and the Jazz Ensemble,” said Paulson.
Paulson also added that the Jazz Ensemble will be performing alongside the SMU World Drum Ensemble, directed by Denny McGuire. The Jazz and Drum Ensembles will be performing numbers together while also performing numbers separately, said Paulson.