Jazz campers hold big band concert

Flutist Ella Grace Thomasson performed as a member of the inaugural Gaillard Youth Jazz Orchestra, led by artist-in-residence Charlton Singleton.

The first band camp of the first season organized by the Gaillard Center’s first artist-in-residence, Charlton Singleton, culminated Thursday afternoon with an hour-long big band concert in the ballroom of the new performing arts center.

The concert showcased the musical talents of about 18 young players who had benefited from guidance provided by Singleton and a slate of local jazz musicians: James Slater, Brett Belanger, Demetrius Doctor, David Patterson, Jay Jehl, Ken Foberg, Mark Sterbank and Ronnie Ward.

As artist-in-residence, Singleton has been visiting schools in the tri-county area and working with fine arts coordinators and band teachers to heighten appreciation for jazz. The two-week summer camp drew mostly middle and high school students, plus a few who’ve started college, Singleton said. The only requirement was a minimum of one year experience in band.

The group met 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday, discussed jazz history, listened to historic recordings, learned theory and practiced in sectionals and with the full ensemble. Some were beginners, others serious jazz connoisseurs planning to pursue advanced training.

The repertoire included standards such as “Take the A Train” by Billy Strayhorn and “Saint Thomas” by Sonny Rollins, as well as funky numbers such as “Jive Samba” by Nat Adderley and “The Jazz Police” by Gordon Goodwin.

The band seized the opportunity to swing.

Participants were: Ella Grace Thomasson, flute; Emmanuel Summers, alto sax; Alexandra Peters, alto sax; Zachary Gilbert, clarinet; Nathan MacCabe, clarinet; Jasmine Lockwood, trombone; Dyran Adkins, trombone; Stephan Tenney, trombone; Jonah Paquette, trombone; Nathan Bradley, guitar; McCarthy Fitch, guitar; Nolan Tecklenburg, keyboard; Chase Bennett, bass; Marcos Colon, bass; Cameron Leopold, bass; Kate Stewart, bass; Ella Bundy, drums; and Mary Madden, drums.

Gaillard officials expect to continue and enlarge the program next year.

Reach Adam Parker at 843-937-5902. Follow him at facebook.com/aparkerwriter.