Emma Conrad, a sophomore music major, is one of the 20 students participating in daily classes for credit hours. A trumpet player, Conrad said she’s taking advantage of the chance to improve her musical prowess.
“I haven’t ever really played in this small of a group,” Conrad said. “I look forward to the constant rehearsal, to seeing where we started (Monday) versus the concert Friday night.”
Ross Pederson, an instructor specializing in drums, said he is grateful for the opportunity to work with passionate and dedicated students.
“It’s a learning experience for me, too,” Pederson said. “It’s not a challenge in the negative connotation, but it’s something that pushes you to dig a little deeper.”
Recently retired UNC law professor and a former mayor of Chapel Hill, Kenneth Broun, said that one is never too old to learn. At 71, Broun has been playing piano for most of his life and said he is enjoying his time playing alongside the high school and college-aged students.
“I’m a little intimidated when somebody who is young enough to be my grandchild is better than I am,” Broun said. “They’re just amazing.”
One of the main draws of the jazz workshop lies in evening concerts, which serve as an extension of the lessons taught during the day, Anderson said.
“It’s always great to be able to put into practice what you preach,” said Pederson.
He added that the concerts offer the students the means to watch how the work they put in now can eventually make performance second nature to them.
While incorporating many aspects of modern jazz, each concert is a reflection on the different players each night, Anderson said.
“There’s going to be a lot of mixing of styles,” Anderson said. “That’s just where we are nowadays.”
Anderson said the success of this year’s workshop has encouraged him to expand, and that he is looking forward to taking advantage of the experience in order to improve the approach for next year.
“I think that we can even grow a little bit bigger,” Anderson said. “There will be a lot of refining next year, and I think we can offer a bit more variety.”
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