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Fall 2017 closes with student’s musical concert

January 23, 2018

The students of Ohlone’s music 351 and Music 352 classes will hold a Jazz/Rock ensemble concert Dec. 8 in The Smith Center at the Fremont campus.

The concert will include an aggressive mix of jazz, rock, and pop music. Funded by ticket sales, the Jazz/Rock Ensemble is one concert out of a series of three to be presented. The ensemble itself is the “culmination experience, the capstone project, the final for that ensemble,” said Tim Roberts, the director of the concert series. The songs performed in the concert are songs that students have been practicing all semester.

“This is their chance to perform them,” Roberts added. Adding a more classical twist to traditional classic rock songs previously performed by groups as well as artists such as Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Kesha, and even Bruno Mars. The concert will serve as a mixture of classical music alongside jazz and a significant portion of rock “all in the same place,” Roberts said.

The concert allows student to branch off from their typical comfort zone and perform songs that they’ve learned in a bit of a different style than they are used to.

How do the students learn the songs? “In class we might learn a new song by me passing out a chart, or me literally putting up a YouTube of somebody’s video of their song,”Roberts said. With a different bands for each song, the songs are typically taught just by ear and the students have to learn fast.

“There’s nothing wrong with learning by ear, you just got to be fast,” he said. The class spends a lot of time training to learn their songs as fast as possible in a timely manner. This is followed immediately by rehearsing the beginning of various numbers, stopping numbers and making sure the band communicates.

“There’s hand signals, there’s gestures, things that can control how the song goes,” said Roberts. However, the class doesn’t always approach things in a classical way, with many of the songs performed in different ways each time and not always the exact same.

“That’s what being a musician is about, is being unstructured and being able to improvise,” said Roberts. That said, Ohlone’s music ensemble class is less structured than other college classes of its kind.

Many other classes require you to sit down in front of sheet music or a music demonstration and learn your music in a more reserved way. However, Ohlone’s students are encouraged to be inspired and experiment amongst their overall learning habits.

Instead of learning songs and beats one way, students are encouraged to use their own supplies and techniques to learn songs, with little guidelines as to how they learn the song. Many of Ohlone students even go as far as to create beats on their computers and show off more of an inspired creative side to themselves that may not often be expressed.

The concert itself will not only feature Ohlone students, but will show off what the students in Ohlone’s music department have to offer. The Dec. 8 concert will be 7:00 p.m. General admission tickets are $15, or $10 for staff, students, and youth under the age of 13.

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