UMES Jazz Band Performed at Governor’s Inauguration

  • Sunday, January 28, 2007

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD - If, by some chance, they did not vote for the new governor in November, the parents of students who performed at his inaugural festivities with the University of Maryland Jazz Band are almost certain to claim they did.

    Governor Martin O'Malley invited the young musicians to perform at his inaugural ball January 17 at the Baltimore Civic Center. 

    While most of their classmates were enjoying the term break between semesters, 19 students, mostly music education majors, spent two days in intensive rehearsals before the performance.

    "The great tunes provided by the UMES Jazz band added a special component to an already momentous day," said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown.

    John R. Lamkin II, Ph.D., director of bands at UMES, called it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for excited young musicians whose performance distinguished themselves and the university.

    And it became a "UMES family" affair. Delphine Lee, president of the Baltimore chapter of the UMES alumni association, arranged for Lamkin to put his musicians through their paces in the auditorium of Edmondson High School where she is principal.

     Many of the band members are at home in the Baltimore-Washington area for the break and those who are not are traveling to Baltimore to rehearse and perform. Two students and Lamkin are rushing down after the last performance in New York City as part of the International Association of Jazz Education Conference. Others in the group hail from Philadelphia, New Jersey and a couple are from the Eastern Shore.

    Lamkin selected historically-significant jazz music from the jazz ensemble's repertoire of Count Basie and Duke Ellington-style numbers including "In a Mellow Tone," arranged by Oliver Nelson, renowned African-American composer and arranger who arranged it for big-band. Another selection was "Four, Five, Six," composed by Frank Foster for the Count Basie Band, which he directed after Basie's death.

    Musician and educator Reppard Stone, Ph. D., was inspired by his commute back and forth from Baltimore where he performed to D.C. where he taught at Howard University to compose "Tale of Two Cities," another favorite of the ensemble. And of course, they played some swinging, foot-tapping dance music.

               

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    Ann Wilmer, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580, awilmer@umes.edu.