Jazz Orchestra On Stage Next Thursday
April 23, 2002Oklahoma Baptist University's Bison Jazz Orchestra will perform the first concert under director Kevin Pruiett May 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the university's Yarborough Auditorium. Pruiett, assistant professor of music at OBU, joined the university faculty in 2001. The jazz band will perform music written for the Count Basie Orchestra, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, the Charles Mingus Big and Band and The Glenn Miller Orchestra. The evening will feature student soloists Jamin Garoutte, sophomore from Ft. Wayne, Ind., Nathan Madsen, senior from Ft. Worth, Texas, Don Helm, freshman from Drumright and Stephen King, junior from Amarillo, Texas. The evening also will showcase John Cox, senior from Oklahoma City, Dusty Higgins, senior from Tecumseh, Aaron Robertson, junior from Three Rivers, Calif., and Stephen Davison, senior from Albuquerque, N.M. The Bison Jazz Orchestra is primarily comprised of students from the Symphonic Band. The 20-piece ensemble has released two compact discs, "Bison Jazz Orchestra" in 1998 and most recently, "Final Cut," in the fall of 2000. The group often participates in the Wichita Jazz Festival and the Jazz Festival at the University of Northern Colorado, receiving consistent superior ratings. The Jazz Orchestra has appeared during Fine Arts Chapel and the M&M's concert this academic year. In addition to directing the jazz band, Pruiett teaches brass courses, maintains the recording facilities in Yarborough and Potter Auditoriums and supervises repair of university instruments. He served as sabbatical replacement for a full-time studio professor at Eastern Illinois University before coming to OBU. In addition to teaching trumpet privately, he had been a graduate assistant at the University of Illinois at Urbana since 1997. Pruiett has been in numerous instrumental performing groups including the University of Illinois Jazz Band, Wind Symphony, New Music Ensemble, and Graduate Brass Quintet. He has been principal trumpet in the Paris Brass since1991. Pruiett worked toward a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Illinois and completed a master of music degree from Eastern Illinois University. He earned a bachelor's degree from Millikin University. The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the OBU Fine Arts Department at 878-2305 or visit www2.okbu.edu.