Jazz Lab Band to perform on Thursday

Alex Seidler, Staff Reporter

Jazz performers will take the stage for the third time this school year in the spring Jazz Lab Band concert 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Concert Hall in the Doudna Fine Arts Center.

Paul Johnston, director of the Jazz Lab Band, said the students are talented at their craft and have gained experience throughout the year. He said he is grateful to have a community that is supportive of the band at every performance.

“We have a lot of students and a lot of community members who regularly attend these concerts,” Johnston said. “It’s nice to have a supportive community of folks who appreciate this music.”

Johnston said the band rehearses twice a week and consists of about 18 players performing saxophones, trumpets, piano, bass and drums. Johnston also said he believes people who rarely go to concerts will enjoy these ones because of how skilled the students in the band are.

“Well I think it’s exciting, for folks who rarely come to concerts, I think it’s really exciting for them to see the students develop,” Johnston said. “The band has really worked hard this year and they sound a lot better than they did at the beginning of the year.”

Samuel Fagaly, director of jazz studies and professor of saxophone, said he feels confident in the student’s performance and in Johnston’s ability to lead the band on Thursday.

“I believe Paul will do an excellent job,” Fagaly said. “I expect the students will perform well and I look forward to hearing how they do.”

The Jazz Studies program states one of their purposes is to promote jazz as a significant art form indigenous to America.

Christina Farley, a senior music education major and alto saxophone player, said she is excited to perform in the concert.

“It’s really exciting and it’s going to be a great concert,” Farley said. “We always have a lot of fun.”

The band performed at Cumberland County High School, Mattoon High School and Moulton Middle School this school year. Johnston said he is proud of his performers and excited for the concert because he believes the students continue to improve with each performance.

“It gives us extra performance experience and it’s great to share what we’ve been working on with folks outside of Charleston,” Johnston said. “Folks who haven’t been to a concert often are surprised that we have this much talent here at Eastern.”

The performance is free and open to the public.


Alex Seidler can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]