SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Trumpeter Andrew Loose, a Slippery Rock University music education major from Mechanicsburg, likes to talk about the myriad styles jazz listeners will hear when he and other musicians present a campus concert Nov. 12.
"You might hear a really fast, upbeat tune one minute and then listen to a hip funk feel the next," he said. "A lot of people think of jazz as just one style, but in reality, it is very diverse."
The energy and precision of SRU jazz students will be displayed when the SRU Jazz Combos perform a concert at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 12, at SRU's Sheehy Theatre, in the Maltby Center. Jason Kush, associate professor of music, and Ryan Socrates, instructor of music, will conduct.
The concert showcases two jazz groups comprised of seven students. Kush said the gig would include an eclectic mix of modern jazz and standards. Students will perform original compositions and their own arrangements of classics.
"It's high energy music that is largely improvisation to let students really have a chance to express themselves," Kush said.
Loose said melodies comprise a small part of the overall effect and that his interpretation and solos are improvised.
"The solos I play will be entirely composed by myself, which of course has been influenced by many others, including the original composer, but it is still my own individual material, so in a way, I am contributing a lot to the tunes."
Attendees should come with an open mind and expect surprises, said Loose, who was selected by Kush as one of SRU's top jazz musicians.
"We love to play jazz and that comes through when we play, and I can guarantee you will hear the passion we have and all the hard work we've done," Loose said.
Each member of the combo has a different style too, which will diversity the performance.
"Performing live gives a whole different perspective on the music," Loose said. "I can practice things for hours, but it still isn't quite the same as stepping on a stage in front of an audience. From a musical standpoint, playing live puts me in a different environment. I only get one chance to make things happen and every note counts, so it takes a lot of focus."
He said performing builds confidence and serves as musical networking.
"A performance is kind of like a musical business card that I put out there," Loose said. "Everyone listening knows who I am and what I can do, so it gets my name and face out there. It's also good to get different people listening, because everyone hears things differently."
Loose said the energy of performing pumps him up and elevates his focus.
"Getting to perform in front of people gives me an extra drive to work hard," he said. "When it comes down to it, I'm making the music for the enjoyment of the crowd, so I get to make them happy and get them excited too."
Loose said he enrolled at SRU because of the University's jazz program and faculty. He took lessons for five years with a Messiah College professor and spent a lot of time looking for a good school. His teacher talked about Slippery Rock University.
"As soon as I visited SRU and heard the jazz bands play, I knew I needed to be a part of this," Loose said. "When I arrived, I was a bit nervous about auditioning for the jazz bands, as they are of the utmost quality."
Loose said the faculty fit like a glove and that he has grown as a musician by studying with Kush, Stephen Hawk, professor of music, and David Glover, associate professor of music.
"Slippery Rock University jazz has a long history of success and it feels really rewarding to be a part of it," Loose said. "It's comforting to know that I'm in a place with a legacy of great talent that was molded into something even better."
Loose said he hopes to go to graduate school after graduating.
"My dream job is to be a college professor and teach young, upcoming students like I am now. Being able to gig on the side wouldn't hurt either," he said.
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