FLORENCE — “Dr. Lyman Mitchell really had a passion for big-band swing,” he noted, “and his legacy is this outstanding organization. He really meant a lot to the members – and to UNA – and we are proud to have been associated with him.”
A highlight of the concert promises to be Jones’ arrangement of “The Story of Jazz,” a musical history of the jazz form and its many genres, including New Orleans Dixieland, ragtime, Chicago Dixieland, boogie-woogie, swing, bebop, cool jazz, funk, fusion, Latin jazz and even third-stream Jazz.
“ ‘The Story of Jazz’ is a real treat for the students and the audience alike,” Jones explained. “We’ll take a single melody, which is based on the blues, and perform it in various styles to demonstrate how jazz music has changed through the years. All the contrasting styles are still around today and have influenced virtually every form of popular contemporary music and even classical music. It is amazing to hear how the approach to jazz changed from region to region throughout the United States during the 20th century.”
The concert program will also include a salute to swing master Benny Goodman, the music of Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Chuck Mangione, Gordon Goodwin, Harry James, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and more.
“We have a very talented group of student performers this year,” Jones concluded. “Many will be featured as soloists during various portions of the concert. Additionally, our vocalist, Miss Kayla Flannagan of Athens, will be featured on several outstanding arrangements by Dave Roberson, including Billy Joel's 'Just the Way You Are.' "
Admission to the concert is $15 for general admission, $5 for students (must show I.D.) and free for military and children under the age of 10. Tickets can be purchased online at www.una.edu/music-theatre (service fee will apply), at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts in downtown Florence, or at the door. For more information, call the UNA Department of Music and Theatre at 256-765-5122.