The School of Music and Theatre will host its 15th Jazz-MU-Tazz festival, a jazz camp for high school students, June 10 to 15 on the Huntington campus. The camp will culminate with a concert performance at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at Pullman Square.
Students who attend Jazz-MU-Tazz participate in rehearsals, discussion forums and jam sessions. Throughout the week, they perform in big bands and combos while learning about jazz improvisation, history and theory.
This year, Jazz-MU-Tazz participants will work with, in addition to Marshall music faculty, guest artist Dr. Sim Flora, a jazz trombone player and professor emeritus of music theory and jazz studies at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark. Flora’s unique and varied career has included public school teaching in southern Illinois, freelance trombone work on the West Coast and in the St. Louis area, and a seven-year tenure as musical director at Six Flags Over St. Louis. He has served on the faculty of Clark Terryʼs All-American Jazz Camps and various university summer jazz camps. He currently is on staff with the prestigious Alessi Seminar for trombonists.
“The concert at Pullman Square provides a terrific, informal venue for these aspiring musicians to showcase their talents,” said Dr. Ed Bingham, professor of music and director of jazz studies. “Music making, especially jazz, is a creative activity that is heightened by communication between musicians and their audience. The entertainment provided by these aspiring jazz musicians will be enjoyable to the audience and will help encourage these young musicians to further their creative abilities.”
A native of southern Illinois, Flora earned his Ph.D. in music education at the University of Oklahoma, his Master of Music Education at Ouachita Baptist University and a Bachelor of Music from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Ill. He has presented master classes and directed all-state and regional honor bands throughout the United States. He has appeared as a guest artist with many university and community bands and trombone choirs, with The United States Air Force Band and has twice been featured soloist at the Eastern Trombone Workshop. He continues to maintain a busy performance schedule and will perform with the Murray State University trombone choir at the International Trombone Festival later this month.
Flora has instrumental arrangements published by Southern Music, choral anthems published by the G. Lorenz Company and childrenʼs songs published by LifeWay Christian Resources. He is an artist for the Michael Rath Trombone Company and plays custom-built Rath trombones.