Happy New Year, Alumni! We hope that your holiday season was restful and full of family and friends! This is our second edition of the Alumni Newsletter for the 2018-2019 school year. To those of you receiving this for the first time, our goal is to keep all James Madison University School of Music alumni up to date with events at JMU, feature former faculty members, and cover information regarding streaming concerts and other events that may be of interest to you, your colleagues, or your students.
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In early January, JMU hosted the Collegiate Music Teachers National Association Pedagogy Conference. Topics ranged from pedagogy to technology to entrepreneurship and more. “The sessions all showcase the presenters’ research and/or innovative ideas,” said Arielle Sukhram, president of the JMU MTNA chapter and one of the students that helped plan and coordinate the event.
The conference had the second highest attendance level at 158 attendees, with the average running at 122 attendees. Several JMU students have presented at prior conferences held at the University of North Florida and at the University of Texas at Austin, two of which were plenary presentations that competed with no other presentations. After their attendance, they expressed interest in hosting the event at JMU, which was accepted. Natalie Doughty, an instructor for JMU’s Music Academy and presenter at multiple MTNA conferences, said, “This conference has been instrumental in shaping the direction of my career and I am thankful to have played a small part in this.” We are very proud of our students and faculty involved and congrats on a successful conference!
Tromblow’in Festival in January
The 11th Annual Tromblow’in Festival took place on Saturday, January 12th at the Forbes Performing Arts Center. The featured artist was Brett Baker, a UK-based trombonist, music educator and renowned soloist with the award-winning world famous Black Dyke Band. Another feature of this year’s festival was the Trombonistas por Puerto Rico, who performed and shared their stories, photos, and music from their November 2018 trip to Puerto Rico.
Tromblow’in is a joint educational and musical outreach project of the JMU Trombone Association and Mr. Jefferson’s Bones Trombone Ensemble. Tromblow’in 2019 was primarily supported by performing artist grants from Mr. Jefferson’s Bones and generous artistic support from Conn-Selmer musical instruments, makers of Bach, Conn, and King trombones. Other sponsors include ChopSaver, Shen-Valley Band Instruments, and Robert Mott & Associates Graphic Design.
For more info on Tromblow’in, please visit: http://mrjeffersonsbones.com/tromblowin/
For more info on the Trombonistas por Puerto Rico, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/USAtrombonistsforpuertorico/
International Holocaust Remembrance Commemoration Event held at JMU by The Madison Singers
The Madison Singers, selected readers, and speakers presented the International Holocaust Remembrance Commemoration Event, “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” on January 27th. James Madison University was honored to welcome Steven Hess and Marion Ein Lewin, Holocaust Survivor twins. Steven and Marion are among the very few twins to have survived the camps and are now among the last. Steven is a historian, Holocaust scholar and teacher and has actively sought to educate students and others about truth, consciousness, human rights, and civic action through Holocaust Awareness. Marion has devoted her professional life to Health Care Policy and Health Care Economics.
In addition to the concert, Steven and Marion held a lecture that consisted of a historical overview of the Holocaust, including personal accounts of their unimaginable childhood incarceration in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, their eventual immigration to the United States, and, their successful lives here in the U.S.
Thanks to Dr. Jo-Anne van der Vat-Chromy and the Madison Singers for welcoming Steven and Marion, and commemorating this event.
George West Jazz Festival
The George West Jazz Festival, formerly named the Tri-State Jazz Festival, is named after former Professor of Trombone and Director of Jazz Studies, George “Doc” West, who passed away in 2013. It is a non-competitive, annual education event open to public school jazz ensembles, who perform in the Forbes Center Concert Hall for clinicians who provide taped comments and work privately with the ensemble. The Festival features a Friday night jam session with JMU faculty and guest artists, and a Saturday afternoon closing concert by the JMU Jazz Ensemble and Guest Artists.
The 44th Annual George West Jazz Festival will kick off with the JMU Jazz Alumni 1998 - 2018 Reunion, which will take place on Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30, commemorating 20 years of students who have worked with Professors Chuck Dotas and David Pope. The reunion will include concerts by alumni jazz combos (Friday, March 29) and an alumni big band (Saturday, March 30) that will perform on the Jazz Festival final concert with the current JMU Jazz Ensemble. This past April’s Westfest was completely full, and we’re anticipating an early sell out of this year’s slots. Contact Chuck Dotas (firstname.lastname@example.org) to reserve a place, or for more information about the festival and/or alumni reunion.
For more information on the George West Jazz Festival, registration, and schedule, please visit: