Goshen College band Lavender Jazz will be putting on their final show of the school year on Wednesday, April 5, in Umble Center under the direction of Greg Smucker.The show is set to include full group pieces as well as smaller group combos.
Though Umble Center has not been the normal location for most GC ensembles to perform, Smucker said, “we like the connection we experience with the audience when performing in the Umble Center.”
With a more intimate space, the group often gets the chance to interact with members of the audience better.
Jazz as a genre is one that heavily deals with improvisation, so the members of Lavender Jazz have worked to develop their improvisation skills. Because of this, the show is set to feature many vocal and instrumental improvisations.
Along with improvisation, the show will feature seniors behind the drums, plucking the bass and playing the trombone.
“This is my fourth year directing Lavender Jazz,” Smucker said. “Our graduating seniors Birch Baer, Isaac Fisher and Sam Scheele started the same year I started.”
“I shared my goals for the band with them at that time,” he added. “All three have shown great leadership in the pursuit of raising the band’s level of expectation.”
For the seniors involved with the show, there is a huge range of emotions.
Scheele has also been heavily involved with the musical production, “Into the Woods.” He is also preparing his senior recital this spring, so there has been a lot on his plate.
“I would say with the musical happening at the same time, the lead up to the show has been pretty hectic,” Scheele said. “I would also say just being able to perform with the jazz band one more time is both exciting and sad.”
Fisher expressed a similar sentiment noting that, “[The lead up] for the concert is exciting and also sad.”
“This is the last jazz concert that Birch, Sam and I will be playing together. This is also the first senior class that the director … has been here for all four of our years,” he added. “I’m excited because we’ve got a great program for the audience. [The three of us] put together a senior combo and I’m very excited for that. It showcases our talent on our instruments and also how well [we] play together.”
As for Baer, it is bittersweet.
“I love playing in this band,” he said. “I’m really excited to share the songs we have been working on this semester, but it’s also a little sad preparing for what we know is the last show for many of us.”
The show will take place at 7:30 p.m. on April 5. The show will be free and open to the public.
Due to the size of the space and volume of the ensemble, earplugs are recommended.