“It meant a lot to go out on a bang like this.”
Senior Glenn Hill could not stop smiling after the Jazz and Improvisation Workshop Concert on Wednesday night in Shamblin Theatre.
The show, directed by Music Adjuncts Marcus Finnie and Kyle Whalum, featured many Lipscomb students like Hill alongside professionals in the music industry, including Whalum’s father, Grammy-winner Kirk Whalum.
The students involved worked hard in their Jazz and Improvisation Workshop this semester to develop their soloing skills. Many had not soloed in front of an audience before Wednesday. Director Kyle Whalum was excited to see the students’ work come to fruition because he knows how scary it can be.
“When a student jumps in for the first time and goes for it, that’s what it’s all about,” Whalum said.
Whalum also compared the fear to something a little more “modern”.
“It’s an incredibly difficult thing to say you’re going to do,” Whalum noted. “I think in modern terms, it’d be like freestyle rapping. How many times have you been hanging out, someone’s free-styling, and you kind of want to, but you’re way too scared to? That’s what it feels like.”
These young musicians were not only able to exhibit their abilities, but they were joined by seasoned veterans who were able to throw down their own solos.
“The concert would have been great regardless, but having them here made it even better.”
Whalum’s father, Kirk Whalum, headlined the night, and is a Grammy-winning sax player who has soloed for many, including the late Whitney Houston.
“We’re just so honored to have world-class musicians — which Nashville has so many of — come right down the street to hang out with us at Lipscomb for a night.”
Lipscomb students, like Hill, were thrilled to play alongside him and the other guests.
“It was mind-boggling to see him on stage,” Hill said. “My favorite part was hearing Kirk’s solo in person.”
Hill had a featured solo in multiple songs but said he loved listening more than anything.
“Obviously, I love to play, but when you get around amazing, tier-one musicians like that, it’s a joy and a treat to listen.”
This was the final jazz concert at Lipscomb for a few, including Hill, but he does not want his music to stop here. Hill’s major is Finance, but he would rather not have to use it when he graduates in May.
“Music is my passion,” Hill said. “This is what I want to do, and I won’t stop until I get there.”
Many more seniors will finish their career at Lipscomb with senior recitals on Saturday, while three more ensembles are scheduled for next week for the Department of Music. The University Wind Ensemble will be held on Monday night, while the University Guitar Ensemble and Contemporary Music Ensemble I are slated for Tuesday and Wednesday night, respectively.
Photo courtesy of the College of Entertainment and the Arts