Written by Heather Fairbanks and Carla Morris. Media by Stephen Hillrich. Images courtesy of GC Jazz Band.
The GC Jazz Band, a traditional big band made up of 17 performers, just released its first CD, First Take, featuring selections recorded in the Fall semester of 2013. First Take is a collection of twelve charts ranging from the traditional “In The Mood” to a version of Michael Buble’s “Feeling Good” featuring vocalist Devri Hughan. The Jazz Band formed four semesters ago and is part of the expansion of the instrumental music offerings at Greenville College. They have played all around Greenville and in St. Louis this year, and performed twice on tour at a variety of Branson, Missouri, venues.
According to band director Professor Will Fairbanks, the Jazz Band made the recording after receiving many requests from students, alumni, and community members at their concerts. “People were asking and asking, so we decided to work with Prof. Gary Erickson and audio engineering students to do a class project.” Seniors Zach Bridier and Commedore Clark recorded, mixed and mastered the CD under the guidance of Prof. Erickson.
The band recorded on-stage in the James E. Wilson Recital Hall over the course of two late-night sessions. Because of the band’s size and the need for members to perform as a group, it couldn’t use the recording facilities in the Whitlock basement. “It’s not a studio recording, where you record each instrument playing by itself and then put the recordings all together,” said Prof. Fairbanks. “The band played through each song once or twice. Commedore and Zach miked each instrument and then mixed them all. It was a great learning experience for them.” Another student, sophomore Katie Wallace, created the CD liner for a digital media project.
Membership in the band changes each semester based on scheduling. Fall 2013 members included: Joscelyn Lamm, Sarah Fairbanks, Quinn Johnston, Michelle Bierenbaum, Jarod Garcia, Devri Hughan, Alicia Mullen, Alexa Campbell, Logan Freitag, Stew Stephens, Justin Askins, Tom Fulton, Joel Burroughs, Nolan Osmond, Trevor Sattler, Ty Barth, and Heather Fairbanks.
Proceeds from the CD directly support the Jazz Band and are used for uniforms, travel, and music. To purchase a copy of First Take, contact Prof. Fairbanks at (618) 664-6565, or the music department office at (618) 664-6560.