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 SRU Jazz Ensemble blows into Chicago for prestigious collegiate jazz festival 




February 15, 2007

Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199


SRU Jazz Ensemble blows into Chicago for prestigious collegiate jazz festival


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -  The Slippery Rock University Jazz Ensemble I, directed by Stephen Hawk, associate professor of music, is off to Chicago Feb. 23 to perform at the 48th annual University of Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival, the oldest such jazz festival in the U.S.

           The ensemble, selected by audition, last performed at the festival in 1999 and received nine "Outstanding Soloist Awards."

           As part of the Feb. 23-25 trip, the ensemble will perform and be critiqued by a panel of jazz judges, including Jon Faddis, trumpet, Carl Allen, drums, Donald Brown, piano, Rodney Whitaker, bass, and James Carter, sax. In addition to their performance, students will also take part in master classes offered by the judges.

           Last summer, the 19-member jazz group was one of only four collegiate jazz ensembles, and the first from Pennsylvania, selected to perform at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, and the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Netherlands. While on its 12-day tour, the group also performed in Paris and Heidelberg, Germany.

           The European trip also resulted in production of the ensemble's fourth CD "Crossing Borders," released Oct. 11 and now heard as part of University's music-on-hold telephone system. The CD is available at regional record stores and the SRU SGA Bookstore in the University Union.

           Others ensembles competing this year in Chicago include those from the University of Notre Dame, University of Illinois, Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts, Capital University, Western Michigan University, Indiana University, Southern Illinois University, Shenandoah Conservatory and Columbia College


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.


SRU Jazz Ensemble I

Stephen Hawk                                    Director 


Sam Eisenreich                                   Cranberry Twp.  

Jake McKinney                                  Mars             

Brandon Musko                                 Butler           

Bethany Hardy                                   North Huntingdon 

Matt Swallow                                      Cranberry Twp.      


Mark Rodgers                                     Butler

Joe Melnick                                         Natrona Heights

Andy Ryan                                         Pittsburgh

Will Weltman                                      New Castle

Dawn Marks                                       Butler


Nick Deutsch                                      Pittsburgh           

Mark Dressler                                     Erie                

Steve Rodgers                                    Butler              

Bill Lamb                                              Pittsburgh              



Piano: Ellen Gross                              Emmaus

Bass: Scott Dawson                          Pittsburgh

Drums: Justin Chesarek                    Butler

Guitar: John Anthony                       New Castle

Percussion: Jeff Vaughn                   Berwick


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