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UC Alumni Jazz Ensemble Performs at Homecoming Picnic


WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. – University of the Cumberlands’ (UC) Music Department presented the Alumni Jazz Ensemble at UC’s 125th Homecoming & Family Weekend picnic in the T.J. Roberts Dining Hall. The ensemble was directed by Dr. David Threlkeld and the performing vocalist was his wife, Marsha Threlkeld.

The nineteen members of the Alumni Jazz Ensemble consisted of fifteen alumni, three current students, and one faculty member, director, Dr. Threlkeld. Threlkeld said that he made a Facebook post last spring announcing his plans for the 2013 Alumni Jazz Ensemble and was trying to see who would be interested in being a part of it. Several people indicated an interest in taking part so he developed a schedule and about a month prior to the event, solidified who would definitely be attending the special homecoming event. He then assigned parts for the different instrumentalists and mailed some of the music to them so they could be preparing for the concert. They only had one, two hour rehearsal before performing on Sunday but they played as if they had been preparing for weeks.

“Even though these UC graduates have followed many different career paths, they all still maintain their love for making music and each are making positive contributions to society daily,” explained Threlkeld. “The highlight of the performance to me was being together with all the former students again. Many of them were here at different times but they all got along quite well.”

The crowd seemed to enjoy the music and some even danced to a few of the songs and shook their heads in complete contentment and approval.

“You could swing dance to this music; this is good dancing music,” said UC student, Katie Herrington as she enjoyed the upbeat tempo of a particular jazz number.

The jazz ensemble came to a conclusion as “Brass Roots” was played and Dr. Threlkeld gave a solo performance on the saxophone which earned a well-deserved standing ovation. The Alumni Jazz Ensemble provided a relaxing and entertaining atmosphere for students, alumni, and community members as UC wrapped up its 125th anniversary homecoming weekend.

“I was very pleased with the performance,” admitted Threlkeld. “The musicians played well and the audience reacted positively to the performance.”

The Alumni Jazz Ensemble represented the University of the Cumberlands and the Music Department well and UC is proud to call these musicians its alumni. UC’s current Jazz Ensemble is also turning heads and offers crowd-pleasing musical entertainment. They will be performing Tuesday, October 29 in the Gatliff Chapel located on UC’s campus.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; 10 pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in educations; and online programs. For more information visit