Mercyhurst? More like jazzyhurst


Margaret Urso

The Mercyhurst University Jazz ensemble performing at the Prism concert during Tri-State festival.

Amber Matha, Staff writer

Mercyhurst University students put on a concert last Friday evening as a part of the Tri-State Music Festival.
The wind ensemble played the first three pieces. The first piece, “Arabesque,” by Samuel Hazo reminded me of Aladdin and I felt that there should have been a snake in a bag rising up, charmed and dancing to the music.
I, in my never-ending musical ignorance, learned that the audience is supposed to applaud for the conductor when they come out before every piece.
The second piece, especially the triangle player, inspired my inner musician to desire to learn the art of that instrument.
“Transcendent Journey” was delivered as a “film score” style piece.
It opened with a very loud cymbal clash. If I was not awake before that, I was jarred awake by that.
Listening to it made my mind wander to Star Wars, which was pretty interesting.
After this were three solo pieces and I was pleasantly surprised to see Nathan Hess, D.M.A. as an accompanist to two of the solos.
The crew got a little excited and the curtain rose before flute player, Jennie Cross, played her solo.
Based on the reactions of the high school students around me, her piece was the all-time favorite. It was amazing how she was able to emulate the train sounds through her flute.
Jazz ensemble opened after Cross’s performance with “Le Boulevard St. Germain.” A friend of mine, Christian Gamboa, had a solo in this piece which was super exciting.
It was even more impressive, as Scott Meier, Ph.D., pointed out after the piece, that Gamboa was a non-music major.
I was the lone person who cheered at this comment which was mildly awkward.
“Come Fly With Me,” a play on the Frank Sinatra song of the same title was interesting.
However, I am one of the uncultured Americans who has never listened to his music, so I did not enjoy it to the full extent.
“Happy Eyes,” by Leslie Drayton featured my buddy Gamboa, again.
Seeing a friend play an instrument so well made me jealous that I cannot play an instrument myself.
The last piece was supposed to be a kind of inside joke for people in music. It was called “Another Look at the Diminished Chord.”
“No matter how you look at a diminished chord, it is still a diminished chord,” Meier said to the audience as he introduced the piece. The joke was completely lost on me. I’ll have to ask someone more musically inclined to explain it to me.