The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE Campus band gets jazzy

By Marley Malenfant/reporter

Robert Cooper hammers out a sax solo during rehearsal on SE Campus. The band is working toward a mid-semester recital. Robert Cooper hammers out a sax solo during rehearsal on SE Campus. The band is working toward a mid-semester recital. Casey Holder/The Collegian
Robert Cooper hammers out a sax solo during rehearsal on SE Campus. The band is working toward a mid-semester recital.  Casey Holder/The Collegian

SE Campus jazz band members snapped their fingers and bobbed their heads in unison as they practiced.

SE associate professor and band director Greg Dewhirst said the band has grown in a short amount of time.

“The last couple semesters, we had towards 20 to 25 people, close to 30 at times,” he said.

Dewhirst said the jazz band, which is preparing for a recital sometime in March, is adiverse group of players.

“Right now, we got a large group,” he said. “There are seven sax players, so we got four tenors, a bari, couple altos and a flute player in there actually. We got five good trumpet players and three clarinet players that love being in the group. We have five or six trombones, two or three drummers that swap out. We have a bass, a couple pianos and a solid guitar player this year.”

It’s not just music that goes on in rehearsal, said clarinet player Brittany Myers.

“If someone makes a joke, we’ll have a sax player play a little riff like it’s The Tonight Show,” she said.

Since joining the band, SE student and drummer Craig Kleiman said jazz music has inspired him to be innovative.

“Greg told me to try for the jazz band,” he said. “I didn’t know a lick of jazz. I didn’t know who John Coltrane or Louis Armstrong was. But since I joined, I learned to play swing. It helped me be a better player and open my ears.”

Dewhirst said keeping a community college band together is hard.

“Being a two-year school, we have a really high turnover rate,” he said. “There is always that fear of are we going to have 15 people in the group next semester? The difference of cutting an English class and cutting an ensemble is it takes you probably two years to get it built up.”

SE student and tenor sax player Josh Peralta said the band’s ability has promise.

“A lot of amateur players, but a lot of good raw talent,” he said.

Trumpet player Chris Skiles said the band is cohesive, even in his short time being there.

“This is my third rehearsal,” he said. “I’m impressed in such a short time how well this group pulls it together.”

Dewhirst said he doesn’t want students to just focus on his teachings but get to know the people in the band.

“They have to realize I’m not the person who’s going to be giving them a job someday,” he said. “Eighty or 90 percent of the time, it’s somebody sitting next to them in the band. The guy next to you needs to be able to rely on you. It’s not just you doing a solo. They’re a part of something bigger than themselves.”

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian