I suppose this is what I get for sleeping until 3:45 pm on a Sunday… Theory in 3 hours plus and I can’t sleep…
This weekend, Maria Schneider, world renowned composer and arranger, completed a 3-day residency at UM. During her time here, she spoke with some jazz classes, had a session with the music business students in which she told them about her record label and the business aspect of her life, and, most importantly, put on a concert with the award-winning Miami Concert Jazz Band (CJB). The CJB spent the first month and a half of the semester preparing a repertoire of Maria’s music, and after a few days of rigorous rehearsing with the composer herself, put on what I’m told was an incredible concert this past Saturday, October 6th.
Unfortunately, due to a Marching Band commitment, I was not able to attend, although I was able to sit in on an open rehearsal with Maria and the CJB on Friday afternoon. Having played some of Maria’s music myself, It was truly an incredible experience hearing her opinions on how the music should be interpreted and played, as well as her stories about how the pieces came to be.
The CJB’s performance of Hang Gliding was particularly nostalgic, as I had the privilege to play this piece with the Midwest Young Artists Big Band during my Junior year (shout out to Nic Meyer, director, and all the members of that band–good times!). Maria rehearsed this piece with the CJB on Friday afternoon, and explained to them how it was written after her first trip to South America in which she had the opportunity to Hang Glide off of a cliff through the mountains. As the piece develops, the listener can hear the different stages of the journey, starting with tension, followed by an uplifting draft of wind, the beauty of the sky, and the excitement of the ever-speeding up trip before the safe landing on the ground thousands of feet below. It was a truly increidble experience listening to the so-familiar song in this new light. I would reccomend the piece to anyone, not just jazz enthusiasts, it’s on the album Allegresse.