The MCC jazz ensemble performs a variety of jazz styles at a high level. From a full 15-piece big band playing favorites from the 1930’s, 1940’s, and 1950’s, to a smaller jazz combo, to a Blues Brothers revival band, to ragtime from the early 1900’s, the ensemble can meet many performance needs. Band rehearsals include opportunities for musicians to refine their improvisation skills, and significant individual practice outside of group rehearsal is expected in order to assure that the band consistently presents performances of very high quality. The ensemble schedules at least two performances each semester, and recent performances have included Big Band Festivals in Greeley and Estes Park, the annual Glenn Miller Festival in Fort Morgan, Colorado, as well as a performance in the rotunda of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. The band frequently performs with guest artists, such as the Air Force Academy Falconaires and vocal soloist Donna Wickham. The ensemble’s CD of Glenn Miller music is also part of the regular play list on Denver’s NPR Jazz station, KUVO.
The MCC Jazz Ensemble, Morgan Community College’s first musical performing group, was formed in early 2009 through a collaborative effort between Morgan Community College and community stakeholders who wished to strengthen the rural community’s identity as the boyhood home of Glenn Miller. The inaugural concert, conducted by MCC President, Dr. Kerry Hart was recorded and the resulting CD, “Home Grown: The Music of Glenn Miller,” is used as a “calling card” for the Chamber of Commerce and others to help promote the region.
The ensemble’s influence has extended well beyond the borders of Morgan County. In August 2009, the National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), through the University of Texas, published an article highlighting the community partnership aspect of the project in its national publication “Innovation Abstracts.” Following this, the Association of Community College Business Officers, at a national conference in Palm Springs, selected the project to receive a first-place award for innovation that came with a check for a MCC music scholarship. The CD itself has reached thousands of listeners through playtime on NPR affiliates and radio stations as far away as Hawaii.
The ensemble typically rehearses on Sunday evenings in the band room at Fort Morgan Middle School. Additional rehearsals are sometimes scheduled at other times.
This group is available through audition, as space is available, for musicians who play instruments which make up a jazz ensemble (saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, guitar, and drums). New members are accepted as openings occur within the group.
Home Grown: The Music of Glenn Miller
MCC Jazz Ensemble Inaugural Concert
Suggested donation: $20.00
Fort Morgan Soundscape: A Collaborative Musical Collection
Suggested donation: $20.00