Las Vegas with the Brandon University Big Band
In April 2016 I traveled to Las Vegas with the Brandon University Big Band. We traveled to Las Vegas for a five-day residency to collaborate with Ninth Bridge School, Las Vegas Academy and other local artists. The main purpose of this residency was to give pre-school to high school aged students the experience of making music with a highly skilled big band. In order to create music with each different age group, we had to hand craft arrangements that allowed students to improvise freely with a big band accompaniment. With the pre-school and elementary aged students, we played tunes such as Umpa Lumpa which allowed young students to play kazoos or sing with the big band. For the high school aged students, the big band learned pop or R&B tunes while high school vocalists sang. The big band also had its own set of classic big band and pop tunes where other local professional artist joined us. To finish the residency we played a show at Container Park in downtown Las Vegas. The most incredible part about this experience was that it melded both my love of teaching with my love of performing. Seeing young children's fascination and engagement with music making was truly inspiring.
For more information about my time in Las Vegas please check out this video: