Oklahoma Baptist University's Bison Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Kevin Pruiett, assistant professor of music, will perform its final concert of the 2003-2004 academic year Thursday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the university's Yarborough Auditorium.
The jazz orchestra will be performing music written for the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Charles Mingus Big Band as well as other pieces from the contemporary big band and swing repertoire.
The evening will feature student soloists Aaron Jameson, a sophomore from Yakima, Wash., Chad Gilson, a freshman from Allen, Texas, and Jeremy Simmons, a sophomore from Grapevine, Texas.
The evening will also showcase soloists Jamin Garoutte, a senior from Ft. Wayne, Ind., Derek Ferguson, a senior from Dallas, Texas, John Mark Dadulo, a junior from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, as well as Andrea Dent, a junior from Oak Grove, Mo.
This year's final concert will also include the Bison Jazz Messengers, a jazz combo made up of members of the Bison Jazz Orchestra, who will perform two numbers on the program. The Messengers include Garoutte, Jameson, Dadulo, Stephen King, a senior from Amarillo, Texas, Caleb Raney, a junior from Tecumseh, and Brian Bost, a senior from Yokohama, Japan.
The Bison Jazz Orchestra, an auditioned 19 piece jazz ensemble, has released two compact discs, "Bison Jazz Orchestra" in 1998 and most recently, "Final Cut," in the fall of 2000. Students in the Bison Jazz Orchestra are pursuing degrees in a wide variety of majors and disciplines. In addition to music majors, represented areas of study include cross-cultural ministry, children's ministry, journalism, biology, philosophy, and applied ministry.
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, the annual M&M's concert, the OBU Homecoming Gala, as well as two separate "Live at the Black Box" performances this academic year.