On April 14, the DePauw Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Steve Snyder, treated audiences to a mesmerizing concert showcasing a setlist of jazz arrangements from composers of the 1900s-2000s. 

The concert brought alive seven pieces, each carefully selected to reflect the progression of jazz music over the century, leading audiences through a delightful journey of melodies.

The concert took audiences through different vivid stages of emotions, from the energy of a lively morning from "Corner Pocket," featuring dynamic saxophone and trumpet parts that had attendees tapping their feet and wanting to stand up dancing, to the soothing melodies of "Lazy Day." Composed by modern jazz artist Bob Mintzer, "Lazy Day" wrapped listeners in a tranquil atmosphere, yet was still exciting with tenor saxophone taking the lead.

One of the highlights of the evening was the ensemble's recomposed classic pieces to incorporate a wider range of instruments, such as tuba and clarinet, adding depth and complexity to the arrangements. Jacoba Hensley ‘27, a tubist from DePauw Jazz Ensemble, shared that she was delighted to be in the Jazz Ensemble at DePauw for the first time. Particularly, she was excited to contribute a beautiful tuba part to the symphony “Penthouse Dawn" by Oliver Nelson, which was not originally written with tuba. Though time-consuming, said Hensley, the preparation process was a lot of fun, and that “DePauw has so many talented individuals and it was reflected in this concert.”

Following the performance, trombone soloist Katie Steele ‘26 shared her thoughts on the concert experience: “I played lead trombone on all the pieces. I had solos on “Rivers” and “Big Dipper,” and I felt a little nervous at first because it was my longest set yet, but I became more confident with every rehearsal.” Steele appreciated that she was trusted to perform solos in the first and fourth pieces while acknowledging the importance of teamwork and collaboration in bringing the ensemble's vision to reality. 

Overall, the DePauw Jazz Ensemble's concert was a success, demonstrating not only the talent and dedication of DePauw students and faculty, but also the never-ending appeal of jazz music across generations. As audiences left the performance venue, they were left with a renewed appreciation for the spontaneity and artistry that is indicative of the jazz genre. The moving stages of emotions that the jazz pieces will remain in the music lovers of DePauw and Greencastle and set high hopes in audiences for the orchestra and band concert in May.