Baylor Jazz Ensemble lets student musicians shine

Rylee Seavers | Broadcast Reporter

The Baylor Jazz Ensemble, comprised of 19 student musicians and one vocalist, performed on Tuesday night in Jones Concert Hall.

“Jazz Ensemble is a group of students from all disciplines across the university, mostly music students, but we have non-music majors as well, who just love getting together and playing the American art form of jazz,” said Alex Parker, director of jazz studies at Baylor.

Parker said students audition for the ensemble during the summer and the best musicians are chosen to be a part of the group. Every person in jazz ensemble is also involved in other musical groups or plays other instruments, he said.

Hollywood, Fla. senior and trumpet player, Sally Tepper, said she enjoys jazz because it challenges her as a musician.

“It’s about listening and matching with the people next to you and figuring the stuff out that’s not on the page and making that come to life,” she said.

For some members of ensemble, like saxophone player and Rowlett senior, Ricky Roshell, the music reminds them of a family member. Roshell said he listened to jazz with his dad and started playing it when he began high school.

“Whenever I play it, I always think of him. Or whenever I hear it, he’s usually the first one I think of,” Roshell said.

There are two jazz ensembles at Baylor, Parker said, which perform at least twice during the school year.