The Blue Devil Jazz Orchestra swings into fall concert with Jazz in the Great Hall Nov. 12

Graduating seniors recognized; songs by Count Basie, Miles Davis, Quincy Jones and more artists to be featured
Abbey Goers | November 7, 2022

The Blue Devil Jazz Orchestra will present Jazz in the Great Hall at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, in the Memorial Student Center Great Hall.

Tickets are $5 and are available online, at the student center Service Center, 715-232-1122, and at the door.

“The students in the band have been exploring a variety of jazz compositions this semester and are excited to share our music,” said Professor Aaron Durst, director. “I am always excited to bring in the new students with returning band members to see how the talents intersect and the opportunities that provides for us in the music."

Blue Devil Jazz Orchestra
Blue Devil Jazz Orchestra will perform at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, in the Memorial Student Center Great Hall. / UW-Stout

The concert will open with the Jazz Embers, who specialize in small-group jazz, focusing on the study of improvisation. They’ll begin with “Milestones” by Miles Davis, followed by “I Mean You” co-written by Thelonious Monk and Coleman Hawkins. Their portion of the program will close with “The Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers,” featuring Mason Thill playing accordion to provide a unique sound to the piece. Thill is a business administration major from Belgium, Wis.

The Blue Devil Jazz Orchestra will then take the stage, featuring “Jumpin’ at the Woodside” by Count Basie and “Sonny’s Place” by Carl Strommen, with improvised student solos. The band will also play the theme to Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” reimagined by arranger Gordon Goodwin in a big band setting, as well as the theme song “Tank!” from the TV Series “Cowboy Bebop” as arranged by John Wasson. “Goodbye Porkpie Hat” is a ballad that was a tribute to Lester Young by Charles Mingus. “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” is another slow swing standard arranged by Quincy Jones for the Count Basie Band.

Vocalist Sarah Durst, a hotel, restaurant and tourism management major from Menomonie, will also sing the well-known Randy Newman song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” along with Michael Bublé’s hit “Haven’t Met You Yet.” 

During the concert, several graduating seniors will be recognized and given the opportunity to perform as soloists with the band one last time.

Jazz Orchestra Graduating Seniors
Graduating seniors, left to right: Eli Dupslaff, trombone; Ty Weiss, tenor saxophone; Grace Jones, tenor saxophone; and Elizabeth Wiegel, tenor saxophone and flute. / Aaron Durst

“I enjoyed being able to continue playing music I enjoy as well as the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone,” said Eli Dupslaff, who plays with both the Jazz Embers and the Blue Devil Jazz Orchestra. Dupslaff is a graphic communications major from Harris, Minn.

Ty Weiss, a computer and electrical engineering major from Cadott, reflected on his time with the band. “Music is what brings us together. Music is one of the few things that has roots in every culture, every past and every human,” he said. “‘You have the passion as if you play but move as if you dance’ was a quote spoken to me a while back. I would not be who I am today without music and the UW-Stout Jazz Band.”

Grace Jones, an engineering technology major from Shawano, cherishes “all the fantastic memories I’ve made throughout my time participating in the band. It has brought me great friends, a sense of community and the experience to play the instrument I love.”

Other upcoming UW-Stout performing arts concerts include the Symphonic Singers and Chamber Choir’s To Freedom, featuring music from Ukraine, Poland and Estonia, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Menomonie; and the Symphonic Band winter concert at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4, in the student center Great Hall. Tickets are $5 and are available online at tickets.uwstout.edu.


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