Tarleton Jazz Ensemble to tour in Italy

Taylor Craig/ Staff Writer

The Tarleton State University Jazz Ensemble is preparing to embark on a country-wide tour of Italy. This is the first time the Jazz ensemble has been invited to play abroad in over 10 years. The ensemble will play in at least five different locations across Italy such as: Rome, Vatican City, Assisi and Ravenna.

The Jazz Ensemble has been preparing for this trip for months, growing musically as well as academically.

“[Director of Jazz Bands] Greg Ball, has really been working our tails off on really challenging literature this year,” said Junior, Ricardo Allen II, “I believe that by having the confidence to play very difficult literature while still in the states, we will have absolutely no problem performing in front of a foreign audience. This music is very challenging for both the band and the conductor while the complex time signatures do nothing but make the music even more difficult.”

The upcoming tour abroad has caused a great deal of excitement among the members of the Jazz Ensemble. “I can’t wait to go because I love the culture of Italy,” said percussionist Haden Capps.

“I am so excited to share what I love about music with the world. The cool thing about music is that anyone can understand it, even if you speak a different language,” said trumpet player Beth Rugg.

The ensemble will travel to Italy for a 10-day tour from May 12-22, and their Italy tour preview concert will be Tuesday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Auditorium. At the preview concert, the ensemble will be accepting monetary donations at the door as well to aid students’ travel expenses.

To learn more about Jazz Ensemble, or if you would like to help support the band’s trip to Italy, contact Greg Ball at 254-968-9828 to discuss ways to help the musicians ahead of their international tour.