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Cumberlands Music Department hosts Jazz Clinic


Williamsburg, Ky. – On Friday, March 8th University of the Cumberlands (UC) music department hosted their annual UC High School Jazz Ensemble Clinic for local high school jazz ensembles.

“The UC High School Jazz Ensemble Clinic is always one of the highlights of the spring semester for me,” said David Threlkeld, professor of music. “The relationships that are forged between local area high school students with UC students and faculty through our mutual love of music are priceless. I always look forward to welcoming these students and their directors to our campus and spending a day making music with them.”

All the participants and band directors from the local highs schools were able to spend a day on UC’s campus learning how to improve their performance on the music they’re learning in their school jazz ensemble. “Our desire is to instill concepts and develop skills specific to the performance of jazz ensemble music,” said Threlkeld.

During the clinic each band was provided a 40 minute session with Threlkeld to rehearse music they are working on. There was also an opportunity for sessions of smaller instrument specific sectional rehearsals with Cumberlands music students’ that play the same instrument.

At around 3:00 pm after the band sessions, the students attended master classes for their individual instruments that were led by UC music faculty and members of the Jamey Aebersold Quartet, guest clinicians at this year’s clinic. Then Jamey Aebersold, a world renowned jazz educator and publisher of educational materials for jazz, presented a lecture on improvisation in jazz where students were taught strategies for creating jazz solos.

In the evening, the students attended a concert in the McGraw Music Building featuring the Jamey Aebersold Quartet, UC Jazz Ensemble, and the KMEA District 10 All-District Jazz Ensemble.

“This is the first ever All-District Jazz Ensemble in our district and we are pleased to have the opportunity to host the group on our campus,” said Threlkeld.

The clinic was set-up to reach out to area music students and teachers in order to help them learn to perform this style of music better and to create good relationships with prospective students. The clinic has been occurring for 15 years and has allowed the music department to establish positive relationships with area music students and directors.

“The participants get to experience various music sessions that will help them to improve as musicians,” said Threlkeld. “They also get to establish relationships with other high school students with similar interests and with UC music students and faculty as well.”

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.