Jazz music to be performed April 11 at Majestic Theater

GETTYSBURG, Pa. - Gettysburg College's Jazz Ensemble and Camerata will perform April 11 at the Majestic Theater.

The 8 p.m. performance, "Up Jumped Spring!," will feature guest performer Charles Richard Lester on the theremin, one of the earliest fully electronic musical instruments. Stevie Wonder's "Another Star," Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz" and other jazz favorites will be performed. The Jazz Ensemble is directed by Dr. John "Buzz" Jones and Camerata is directed by Dr. Robert Natter. Admission is free, but tickets are required and can be obtained by calling the Majestic Theater Box Office at 337-8200. The Majestic is one block north of Lincoln Square in downtown Gettysburg.

The Gettysburg College Jazz Ensemble is an auditioned ensemble of 18 to 20 students. All styles of jazz are studied encompassing swing, Latin, fusion, bop and American popular standards of the Big Band Era. The group has performed at the Montreux, Vienné and North Sea Jazz Festivals, opened for Ray Brown, Phil Woods and Kenny Baron and participated in the Villanova and George Mason Intercollegiate Jazz Festivals. Camerata is an advanced ensemble that performs music for small ensembles, from madrigals to vocal jazz. The group sings with the Gettysburg College Jazz Ensemble, at concerts and special events and performs on tour with the choir.

Jones is a professor of music and director of Gettysburg College's Sunderman Conservatory of Music. He coordinates the theory program and teaches jazz history, counterpoint and composition. During his tenure as director of bands from 1989 to 2002, the program grew in size from 35 to 90 musicians performing more than 20 concerts annually. Moreover, the number of music majors and minors doubled while he served as department chair from 1999 to 2005. Jones is an 11-time ASCAP Standard Award winner in composition and has been the recipient of numerous commissions for wind, jazz ensemble and chamber orchestra. He founded and directs The Buzz Jones Big Band, central Pennsylvania's leading jazz orchestra. The group performed more than 200 concerts and dances, toured five European countries and produced four CDs during its 29-year history. Jones received his bachelor's degree from Lebanon Valley College, master's degree from Towson University and doctorate from Temple University.

Natter is an associate professor of music and director of choral activities at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College. He conducts the Gettysburg College Choir, Camerata, Concert Choir and teaches voice and conducting. Natter has toured widely with the College Choir and Camerata in the eastern United States, Canada, Brazil, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico. He also serves as an instructional technologist and researches technology tools to help teach music. He has written a computer program called "ChoralWorks" to assist choir members in learning music. Natter earned a bachelor's and master's degrees in music from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and received a doctorate in choral conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Lester has been playing the theremin since 1995. He has played for many engagements - concerts and recitals, film and television scores, musical theatre and a Hawaiian luau - across the United States and Germany. The theremin was invented by Russian physicist Leon Theremin and was the first musical instrument designed to be played without being touched. The player moves his or her hands between two antennas, altering the high frequency electromagnetic fields, controlling pitch and volume. Earlier this year, he played three live performances and recorded a CD of Miklós Rózsa's Spellbound Concerto with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. Last spring, he played with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in the premier performance of Russian composer Gavriil Popov's Symphonic Suite No. 1.

The Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College combines Gettysburg's superb music tradition and its strengths as one of the nation's leading liberal arts colleges. Established in 2005 through a $15.7 million gift from 1919 graduate Dr. F. William Sunderman Sr., the conservatory offers three degrees -- bachelor of music in performance, bachelor of arts in music, and bachelor of science in music education -- as well as a minor in music.

Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with approximately 2,600 students. It is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. The college was founded in 1832.

Issued: 4/1/08

By: Justin Brower, class of 2010 

Posted: Tue, 1 Apr 2008

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