By Michael Cleverley
The Jazz band of Cedarville University transported us back to the good old days of swing last Friday in the BTS atrium. They played songs from the all time greats of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and Michael Philip Mossman. The band is an example of jazz making a comeback in modern culture.
At the start of the concert the conductor stated that the concert was going to be a tribute to Glenn Miller, a musician from the swing era, and that most of the songs would be ones he and his orchestra had played.
The band kicked off the evening with the song “Everybody Loves My Baby” and then played “String of Pearls.” After these first two songs, they played the next selection of songs that had been chosen by the “Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue” method. This is something that Glenn Miller used to use to choose songs for his performances.
They kicked this with a performer conducting the song “Danny Boy” for something old. For something new, the band performed a newer version of the “Volga Boatmen” song, a traditional barge hauler shanty and folk song.
Then they played, for something borrowed, “Begin the Beguine.” Then, to finish off the selection, they played “St. Louis Blues March” for something blue. After finishing the selection, another one of the performers conducted the orchestra for “Sun Valley Jump” that Glenn Miller played for the movie “Sun Valley Serenade.”
Jeff Walker, an alumnus attending the performance, said he was pleased to see this generation playing jazz because it had become unpopular for a while and died out. He said that jazz was not popular and that he did not grow to appreciate it until he was older, during the time that he was here at Cedarville.
Then the band returned and played a Glenn Miller version of a tune by Lionel Hampton “Flying Home,” which he originally just whistled on an airplane because he was nervous. Then they changed to a quieter tune “Audios” and finished off the Glenn Miller part of the evening with Tyler Dellaperute conducting “American Patrol.”
Then they finished the evening of with four songs by different people: “As Time Goes By” sung by one of their piano players, a Latin song by Michael Philip Mossman, Tommy Dorsey’s tune “On the Sunny Sunny Side of the Street” sung by their other piano player, and Terry Gibbs’ version of Tommy Dorsey’s “Opus One.”
Kyle Semmelroth, a member of the band, is passionate about promoting jazz.
“It is so much fun and less constrictive than other music and allows you to cut loose,” he said.
Semmelroth said he hopes to promote jazz because it’s still just as good as it was in its golden age and it still draws a crowd.