McAllister to be filled with show tunes and Latin jazz

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Jazz Ensemble performs concert Thursday.

By Matthew Reyna

With 11 students, this college’s jazz ensemble is small this semester, so its upcoming concert will feature students taking on a larger role than usual. The songs also may sound a bit different.

“We wrote it for the instruments we had,” music Adjunct Stephen Gollihar said.

The hourlong performance is at 7:30 p.m. April 23 in the auditorium of McAllister Fine Arts Center.

The free concert is open to the public.

The ensemble will play swing tunes and Latin jazz, said Andrew Gignac, ensemble director, music professor and adviser for brass and string majors.

The show comes to McAllister 10 days after the last concert, the Performance Showcase April 13, also directed by Gignac.

This will be the ensemble’s last concert of the semester. The previous one was March 5.

Gignac said the concert will feature works from Charlie Parker, Lee Morgan, Antonio Carlos and Joe Beam.

“The show will also feature a brand-new arrangement of ‘My Funny Valentine’ by Stephen Gollihar,” Gignac said.

“My Funny Valentine,” originally recorded in 1937, is a show tune covered by artists such as Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald.

“This is the world premiere,” Gollihar said jokingly.

The ensemble’s unique variation of instruments has forced Gollihar to go in a new direction with the torch song.

“‘My Funny Valentine’ is normally a ballad played very slow, but we did a Latin, up-tempo version,” Gollihar said. “There will also be an extra guitar.”

The change in tempo was designed to complement the stronger areas of the ensemble and build a more balanced sound.

The up-tempo theme, composition and the addition of the electric guitar solo are all unique to this version of “Valentine.”

Gollihar said the number will feature two soloists from his jazz improvisation course. Nikki Flores will play the alto sax, and Marco Escobedo will play the electric guitar. Flores also will perform the melody.

Gollihar described Flores as a motivation for writing the brand-new piece.

“(Flores) has been working hard, and it would be nice to feature him,” Gollihar said.

Students currently enrolled in music courses can use this concert as part of their recital participation grade.

Every music appreciation course has a 10 percent recital attendance component attached to the grade. Students can fulfill the obligation by attending three concerts.

The music department will host 10 more concerts before the semester ends May 16.

The next event will be the SAC Concert Choir at 7:30 p.m. April 27 in McAllister directed by Cindy Sanchez.

For more information on the concert, contact Gignac at 210-486-0269.

To see a calendar of the music department’s upcoming concerts, visit


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