Jazz concert benefits New Orleans

Michele Roehrig

Alaina Cheronis, business management major at Kent State Stark, sings “Been So Long” accompanied by Dan Nauss, music education major at Kent State Stark, Saturday at the jazz concert benefitting jazz musicians affected by Hurricane Katrina. The event was

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Blaring trumpets, cymbal crescendos and the rhythm from a bass could be heard and felt from outside the doors of the Main Hall at the Kent State Stark Campus Saturday.

The Kent State Stark music department, the Jazz Foundation of America and the Ohio Collegiate Music Education Association sponsored a concert to benefit jazz musicians affected by Hurricane Katrina.

The program, which suggested a $10 donation, will give all proceeds from Saturday’s concert to the Jazz Foundation of America, which helps jazz musicians replenish instruments and sheet music, restore performance halls and provide employment assistance.

“Since Katrina, the Jazz Foundation of America has been getting help to New Orleans musicians directly by paying a first month’s rent for new homes, getting nearly $200,000 worth of donated instruments to musicians, giving counseling, advocacy, pro bono legal counseling and creating a long term employment program,” said its Web site, www.jazzfoundation.org.

The event featured the Kent State Stark Jazz Society, directed by Robert Feldbush; the North Canton Hoover High School Jazz Band, directed by Ron Varn; and Kent State faculty, staff and students in various ensembles.

Twenty-two Hoover High School students dressed in black started the program with a lively song titled “It’s About Swing.” A four-piece ensemble named Camel Spider played next, featuring a solo from each male member. Rana Mancini, a music student at Kent State Stark, and Laurel Seeds, event director and music professor at Kent State Stark, each sang before intermission.

Alaina Cheronis, a business management major at Kent State Stark, sang next, followed by the three-piece ensemble Left Hand Conspiracy.

The featured performance by the Kent State Stark Jazz Society came last. Feldbush led the group through six pieces including “Fly Me to the Moon,” a song made popular by Frank Sinatra, and a fast-paced piece entitled “Blue Bossa.”

Jillian Fecich, president of the Ohio Collegiate Music Education Association Chapter 1118, said she was pleased with the turnout of about 75 people.

“We would like to thank everyone who helped in the planning and preparation of today’s concert,” Fecich and Seeds said in the event program. “A special thank you to all those performing and to all those supporting the cause. With everyone’s help, we can aid in bringing the joys of music back into the lives of people that have lost nearly everything.”

Contact graduate studies reporter Michele Roehrig at [email protected]