LMC Improv Jazz gets cut


The Los Medanos Music Department will be short one Jazz ensemble for the Fall 2016 semester. The Intermediate Improv Jazz Workshop (Music 82) — commonly known as ‘Jazz Band’ by LMC music students — was cut for the Fall 2016 semester during the second week of school.

“We’re upset when any class gets cut,” remarked the Music Laboratory Coordinator Fernando Lozano, “But, compared to last semester where we had 6 to 7 cut at this time, we’re in good shape.”

Enrolled students had been looking forward to the course due to a change in staff. LMC Music professors Mike Zilber and Mike Williams were to take over Jazz Band for the fall 2016 semester after former jazz professor Rob Dehlinger left the teaching position vacant.

“It sucks, to say the least,” said guitarist Abraham Quecan, who had signed up for the class. “I wished it kept going.”

“It’s a real let down. Last semester it was doing so well and then all of a sudden, everyone was just disappearing. People have moved on or had hit repeatability limits or something like that,” commented LMC student Tony Hendrix, who had played trumpet for the jazz band the previous semester. “It’s disappointing because I wanted to see how Zilber and Williams would team up- it was the first time I would see them team up and teach the class.”

Students weren’t the only ones who expressed regret over the cancellation.

“I feel sorry that the students won’t have an opportunity to do it this semester,” said LMC Professor Mike Williams.

The cancelation was due to the low enrollment of the class. Many students from the previous semester who were a part of the band had either left LMC, were unable to take the class or had surpassed the amount of times they could retake the course.

“We were both looking forward to teaching the big band, but we didn’t get sufficient enrollment or instrumentation despite our efforts,” said Zilber. “Dean [Nancy] Ybarra made the decision to cancel it as it gave students a chance to get into other classes during late enrollment.”

Though the Jazz Band class will be absent this semester, students were still be able to switch to the Jazz Studio night class (Music 74), which is open to LMC students, high school students and community members at large.

Steve Ernest, who was hired for the 2016 fall semester to teach the Jazz studio class, stated, “Jazz band students were encouraged to join the night group.”

Currently, the Jazz Studio night band has a significantly larger group and a wider variety of instrumentation — two things the Jazz ensemble had lacked.

“I’m very excited,” added Ernest. “What I hope for is to build a solid direction for this group through quality performance.”

The Jazz Studio band holds practices every Wednesday night in the recital hall from 7-9:50 p.m.