SRU Jazz Ensemble receives prestigious invitation

Slippery Rock University Jazz Ensemble 2016

March 30, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The Slippery Rock University Jazz Ensemble is the only college jazz group in the state to receive an invitation to perform at the March 31-April 2 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association All-State Conference in Hershey.

The ensemble, directed by Jason Kush, assistant professor of music, will play five songs during a Friday performance. They are: "University Dance;" "Quiessence;" "The Llama;" "Convertible Burt;" and "One Day Wonder."

Kush said the ensemble applied for the all-state conference in June 2015. The application included various recordings of the band. The recordings were evaluated and scored against other musical groups in the same category. SRU beat out 12 other college jazz groups that applied to perform, Kush said.

"It's a pretty high honor," he said.

The ensemble's performance will feature Troy Roberts, a rising star on the international jazz scene. The saxophonist and composer, who hails from Perth, West Australia, is set to record a CD with the SRU Jazz Ensemble in April, Kush said.

The ensemble, which includes 20 students, frequently performs on campus. The ensemble, joined by the Jazz Lab Band, will present a concert in the big band genre during SRU's Kaleidoscope Arts Festival, at 7:30 p.m., April 28, in Swope Music Hall.

Throughout the past 10 year, the Jazz Ensemble has performed at The North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the Jazz Educators National Conference in Dallas, Texas.

Current member of the ensemble include:

• Clint Bleil, a music education major from Pittsburgh, on alto saxophone;
• Erik Krohnemann, a music major from Huntington, on alto saxophone;
• Zach Bickle, a music education major from Lockport, New York, on tenor saxophone;
• Jeanne Marie Stalteri, a music education major from Indiana, on tenor saxophone;
• Kyle Strain, a music education major from Mercer, on baritone saxophone;
• Craig Gill, a music performance major from Moon Township, on trumpet;
• Andrew Loose, a music education major from Mechanicsburg, on trumpet;
• Kevin Farinelli, a music major from Cranberry Township, on trumpet;
• Rob Kaup, a music major from Pittsburgh, on trumpet;
• Wes Woodward, a music major from Erie, on trumpet;
• Kenny Farinelli, a music education major from Cranberry, on trombone;
• David Vevers, a music therapy major from Pittsburgh, on trombone;
• Scott Boyer, a music major from Pittsburgh, on trombone;
• Aaron Podorson, a music major from Irwin, on trombone;
• Steve Pachesky, a music education major from Norwin, on piano;
• Walker Martz, a music education major from Butler, on guitar;
• Simon Neubert, a music education major from Saxonburg, on bass;
• Justin Vorp, a music performance major from Shaler, on drums and
• Adam Kantz, a music major from Beaver Falls, on percussion.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 | gordon.ovenshine@sru.edu