Jazz Is Alive AND Kicking At Grove City College!

Jazz Ensemble, December 2006

I’ve been pretty busy the last couple of days getting ready for the HUGE jazz concert at Grove City Collge tomorrow. We are having two ensembles play tomorrow, at 1:30 p.m., at the Pew Fine Arts Center in Grove City, PA.

I thought I would let you know how we do things for a concert(s). In addition to the intense jazz music, the concerts are a large theatrical production. We include lights (sometimes motion, sometimes l.e.d.), a large sound reinforcement system and a great concert set, complete with jazz fronts (see the picture above).

Fortunately and unfortunately, I am responsible for both the ensembles and the theatrical production itself which can make things pretty hectic leading up to the show. However, I do have a lot of qualified technicians to help me put it all together and it always comes off amazing!

The lights:

1 ground row of 12-15 fresnels, 3 colors, pointing up and out into the audience. These are programmed for sequenced effects.

1 visible hanging electric with 15 fresenels, 3-4 colors, pointing down into the audience. These are programmed for sequenced events.

1 hidden cyc light electric with 18 cyclorama lights used to light the white cyclorama. This is for color blending and creation behind the ensemble.

4 color washes on the ensemble (approx. 60-75 E.Rs): Red, Purple, Blue, Amber

Multiple “specials” (approx. 10-12 E.Rs with different colors). Usually I set 6 lights on the drum set for “bumping” effects that can be paced with the music and rhythms. and we include other “specials” on the piano, bass, guitar and solo microphone areas.

2 Follow Spots for spotting the soloists and vocalists.

Motions Lights: Depends on the show -used for effects

L.E.D. Curtain: Used many times behind the band in place of the Cylorama.

Gobos: We use a number of patterns including notes, staffs, break up patterns and the texts: “Jazz Ensemble” and “Stage Band”. These are focused on the audience walls, and the cyclorama.

Sound System:

We use a multi array system with a stereo house. In addition we use 5 discrete mixes for monitors to be used in the different sections of the ensemble. We use 20 wired microphones and 4 wireless. We record direct to 2 track and a separate 24 channel hard disk recorder. In addition we broadcast life to WSAJ 91.1. I’ll post specifics about the sound system in a later post, there is just so much…

The ensembles are some of the tightest and well rehearsed group of any college or university. This concert we’re playing a mostly Latin/Salsa Concert featuring the following songs and more:

Wood Chopper’s Ball/Johnny Quest Opener
Jalepeno Dreams
Malaguena
Misty
Count Bubba

Cinco De Mayo

Sun Cat


If your in the area and want to catch it, please do so. Seating is limited (675) and we usually have a full house but we’ll squeeze you in! It’s tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. the concert has been made available to the public for free and there also is ample free parking located directly around the Fine Arts Center.

Joseph Pisano Sig.

[tags]Grove City, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz, Music [/tags]

Joseph M. Pisano, Ph.D. is the creator of many education websites, a lecturer, clinician, trumpeter, and conductor. He is currently the Associate Chair of Music and Director of Bands in the Calderwood School of Arts at Grove City College in PA. He been named a TI:ME Teacher of the Year, received the JEN Jazz Educator Award and the PA Citation of Excellence. He is a past Vice President of the Technology Institute for Music Educators and the current Vice-President of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association. He also writes for DCI Magazine, Teaching Music Magazine, and is the Educational Editor for In-Tune Monthly Magazine; he has contributed hundreds of articles to various publications. Find out more at his website jpisano.com.
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