from staff reports
The Meridian Star
The Meridian Community College Jazz Band performs Thursday with Terri Pankhurst for the next installment of MCC's Arts & Letters Series.
The concert also represents the first of many events on Meridian Main Street's Merry Meridian lineup to celebrate the holiday season with this year's theme: "It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas."
A native of Missouri, Pankhurst has been singing jazz for many years as well as performing in various pop, rock and contemporary Christian bands in the St. Louis area. She has performed and worked with musicians such as Larry Caryell, Denis DiBlasio and Wayne Bergeron. Now a resident of Lauderdale, Pankhurst sang with Carey Smith and Friends as part of the St. Paul Chamber Music Series earlier this year.
Thursday's concert will begin at 7 p.m., in the McCain Theater on the MCC campus. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children, and are available by calling (601) 484-8696.
Leading the band is conductor Carey Smith, who will be playing the piano for this concert. He has worked with countless performers and clinicians in the jazz idiom during his career. In addition to his duties at MCC (he is finishing his 32nd year at the college), he has been orchestra conductor for the Meridian Little Theatre since 1985,
Smith is composer-in-residence for the Meridian Symphony Orchestra and had a CD of his original music released with that group in 2004.
Carey Smith and Friends will be working this Thanksgiving on their first commercial recording of all original music. The last commission for the MSO was written for their golden anniversary on a concert with Itzak Perlman. The four-movement work was titled “Elements.” His latest work for jazz sextet and orchestra is a third suite in five movements.
For Thursday's concert Pankhurst will be performing “The Nearness of You,” “Orange Colored Sky” and “You Said.” Rounding out the program will be the songs, “Late Arrival,” “All I Ask,” “Chucho,” “A Few Good Men,” “On a Clear Day,” “Bass Folk Song,” “Two for the Road” and “Cheers!.”
MCC Jazz Band members include Rick Bennett, alto saxophone 1; Maverick Hamilton, alto saxophone 2; Nick Metts, tenor saxophone 1; Sabina Ivy, tenor saxophone 2; Allen Carr, baritone saxophone; Sue Shoffiett, flute and piccolo; Jeff Reiter, trumpet 1; J.B. Griffith, trumpet 2; Buddy Rogers, trumpet 3; Jacob Robinson, trumpet 4; Lavelle Woodrick, trumpet 5; Tony Padilla, French horn; Ron Posey, trombone 1; Caleb Landrum, trombone 2; Evan Derrick, trombone 3; Lee Rigdon, bass trombone; Mark Altekruse, guitar; Will Roland, bass; and Scott Kratzer, drums.