MILLEDGEVILLE — Former graduates from Georgia College’s music department are collaborating to form an Alumni Jazz Band to present a benefit concert. Terrance Brown, current Georgia College senior, is excited to unite with “some of the finest musicians that came through Georgia College’s jazz and music department.”
“The last Alumni Jazz Band concert was four years ago,” said Brown, who will play the saxophone in the concert. “It’s a great opportunity to see some of the finest musicians that came through Georgia College’s jazz and music department. Most are teaching music or are playing professionally right now.”
The 90-minute concert, free and open to the public, is scheduled at 8 p.m. Saturday in Russell Auditorium, featuring alumni musicians of the past five decades.
“Donations will be accepted at the door. Proceeds will go toward scholarships within the music department for incoming and returning students,” Brown said.
Under the direction of Cliff Towner, director of bands at Georgia College, the jazz big band will perform classics including “In the Mood,” “Autumn Leaves,” “Summertime,” “Li’l Darlin,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” “Sweet Georgia Brown,” “Take the A Train,” “Tickle Toe,” “Brass Machine” and more.
“We have approximately 23 alumni performing. All of the alumni are from jazz bands from the past years,” Brown said. “It’s a varied program with various styles, from jazz, swing and bebop to Latin. It’s compiled tunes of what the band members used to play when they were in college.”
Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce CEO April Bragg and City Councilman Phillip Joiner are the two featured vocalists in addition to other well-known local instrumentalists. The performance will also include former professor and chair of the music department, Jim Willoughby, on piano.
This year’s band uniquely features the presence of three family pairs, including the father and son team of Ross and Jonathan McGowan in the trombone section; brothers Matt and Jay Davis on saxophone and trumpet respectively; and the husband and wife team of Terry and April Bragg on bass and vocals respectively.