"First-year music students come to us in September with unbridled enthusiasm and a zest for learning. What could be better? After 40 years of teaching, I’m still anxious to lead my students in new directions and delve into whatever subject we’re studying. Most importantly, I learn from them through colorful and meaningful conversations.
Fall eventually leads to spring, and first-years become seniors. Commencement was a beautiful spring day this year. As our music students left the stage with diplomas in hand, I thought about how much our jazz program has changed since the late ’80s. We began with a dozen students who were curious about this uniquely American genre, and within a few years, a big band was fully functional and presenting several concerts a year. During the past two decades the GC Jazz Ensemble has toured Europe five times with concerts at major international jazz festivals and has welcomed many world-class jazz artists to campus. The founding of the Sunderman Conservatory of Music in 2005 has enhanced our reputation and generated enormous interest in music as an art form that requires rigorous study.”
Prof. John “Buzz” Jones joined the faculty in 1989 and has served as director of bands and music department chair. He now directs the jazz ensemble and teaches theory and composition. A frequently commissioned composer, he directs the Buzz Jones Big Band and holds a doctorate of musical arts from Temple University. His alma mater, Lebanon Valley College, honored him with an Alumni Citation this year.Posted: Sun, 2 Sep 2012
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