Jazz Combos performs at Doudna Thursday


Ashanti Thomas

August Frisby, a junior music performance major and alto saxophone player, and Kyle Huddleston, a tenor saxophone player, both apart of the Blue Note Quintet, perform “Cornbread” by Lee Morgan in the Black Box Theatre of Doudna Fine Arts Center Thursday night.

Drew Coffey, Campus Reporter

The department of music at Eastern hosted a jazz combos concert at the Doudna Fine Arts Center on Thursday night to a full crowd.  

The concert consisted of performances from two ensembles of students and the Noah Garabedian Quartet playing various songs of their choice.  

Cory Schneider, a freshman digital media technology major, said he was impressed with the performances as an audience member.  

“They’re absolutely incredible,” Schneider said. “It’s really cool just to see all the young talent. It’s really cool for me to just be able to come by and experience something so tremendous.”  

Schneider also said that despite being there for a class assignment, he found the concert especially captivating. 

“It’s really cool to be able to come by and do homework, but also have something really enjoyable at the same time because of all the talent here,” Schneider said. 

Jacob Ramage, a junior music composition major and guitarist of the first student-led ensemble of the night, said he was proud of himself and his fellow musicians.  

“I thought our set went really well,” Ramage said. “We only played two songs, but it was a good mix of styles, so it was nice and electric. We got to show off our skills as an ensemble and as individuals.”

Ramage also talked about his nerves before the performances and how he has learned to overcome them.  

“It takes practice,” Ramage said. “You got to be able to put yourself in a place where you’re like I’ve got to get this done and be ready for this… You’re never going to feel completely ready. But if you get it, you can go as far as you can.”

Kyle Huddleston, a second year graduate student in jazz performance, said he shared similar nerves when starting his performance in the second ensemble of the night.  

“I was extremely nervous coming into it,” Huddleston said. “Even to the point with tuning when we went to go play that first note to tune out there, I could hear it was a little shaky.” 

 Huddleston described his process to calm his nerves before playing.

“I kind of closed my eyes and just took everything good and got connected with everything and it just kind of went away,” Huddleston said. “I find once I get through that first song, we’re good. Everything is good.”  

According to Huddleston, he was impressed with how his performance connected with the rest of the ensemble after the group’s rehearsals.  

Having the Noah Garabedian Quartet playing in the concert also had many of the student musicians “starstruck.” 

I’m actually a big fan of Dayna Stephens,” Huddleston said. “It was awesome being able to talk with him just about some saxophone stuff.”  

Dayna Stephens is the saxophonist for the Noah Garabedian Quartet and was able to give Huddleston some important tips about performing.  

“I got to ask them just general questions about different ways to approach improvisation, and they gave me some pretty good answers,” Huddleston said.

Upcoming jazz events at the Doudna Fine Arts Center are a Faculty Jazz Combo on Nov. 6 and an Honor Jazz Combo on Nov. 7. 


Drew Coffey can be reached at 581-281 or at [email protected].