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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

UM Jazz Ensemble The Mississippians to Perform at National Conference

The University of Mississippi’s jazz ensemble, The Mississippians, will perform for its first-ever national conference Jan. 6 at the Jazz Education Network Conference in Louisville, Ky.

“We want the experience to be something that helps us maximize our potential,” said Michael Worthy, associate professor of music and director of The Mississippians.

The 18-piece member ensemble composed of UM undergraduate and graduate students will perform a 50-minute concert to kick off the conference. The Mississippians were selected to play for the third annual Jazz Education Network Conference, themed “Developing Tomorrow’s Jazz Audiences Today,” through a blind audition process.

“I submitted recordings that were reviewed by a 27-member committee and I was notified in late August that we had been selected,” Worthy said.

The Mississippians were picked among other university ensemble groups, professional groups and outstanding high school groups to play at the national conference.

Jazz Education Network attendees will hear The Mississippians play big band transcriptions from the libraries of Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Quincy Jones.

“We’ll also perform contemporary pieces by some of the most significant composers writing for jazz ensemble today, Jim McNeely and John Mahoney,” Worthy said. “A large-scale piece that Leonard Bernstein wrote for the Woody Herman band will round out our program and feature two Ole Miss faculty members, Dr. Michael Rowlett on clarinet and Dr. Ian Hominick on piano.”

“The students have worked so hard. They are a fine-tuned musical team,” said Michael Rowlett, assistant professor of music. “They are full of energy. To be a soloist for them is very exciting. It’s a thrill to play with them.”

Attendees of the symposium will include students and faculty affiliated with universities, professional musicians and people in the music industry.

“Being at the conference will provide tremendous educational opportunities such as attending performances, master classes, presentations and jam sessions,” Worthy said.

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