Edge

UM Jazz Band up for a Grammy

The School of Music is jazzing its way into the history books on Feb. 13 when it takes on the world’s best music at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards.

Featuring a piece from its criticallyacclaimed album, Romances, the Concert Jazz Band will be part of a nomination for Best Instrumental Composition, making it the first time the school has been recognized for a Grammy, according to Studio Music and Jazz Department Chair Whit Sidener. The band is also the only university-related group in the list of nominees.

“I was very surprised; I didn’t even know [the band]had been entered in the competition,” says Sidener. “[But] I think it’s deserved.”

Although the Grammys are actually honoring the song’s composer, Maria Schneider, Sidener insists that the band’s recording of the composition was the vehicle for the nomination.

“It’s a great testament to our department that we could produce something with our students that’s of professional quality,” Sidener says.

One of those students, Doug Leibinger, agrees. Leibinger, who played trombone on the original recording, says he was also surprised to hear about the nomination, but that he’s eager to see how it will fare at the Grammys.

“It’s a gorgeous piece [and]we did a nice job performing it,” says Leibinger, now Director of Studio Jazz Band. “It’s quite an honor to be included in something like that.”

The composition, entitled “Three Romances,” came to fruition in 2001 when the Abraham Frost Commission Series asked Schneider to write a piece for the band to premiere at Festival Miami.

Schneider, a former student at the University, penned a complex piece, which runs over 25 minutes and shifts between three distinct musical styles. In 2002, she joined the band to record the Grammy-nominated instrumental in Gusman Hall, directing and co-producing the session with Sidener.

“It was a really great experience, [the band was]just so flexible and patient,” says Schneider in a phone interview. “Anything I could write for my own group, I could write for them. I didn’t have to hold back at all.”

“It was a challenging piece,” Leibinger recalls. “It was really pushing the envelope in a real artistic manner. Maria’s stuff is definitely on the cutting edge of contemporary big band writing.”

Leibinger adds that because of Schneider’s innovative approach to music, the composition has a great chance at winning the Grammy, despite tough competition that includes Gabriel Yared, Paquito D’Rivera, Slide Hampton and Schneider’s own orchestra.

But Schneider credits the band for the nomination, saying she never doubted their ability to bring the composition to life. Being the only university band in the list of nominees, she says it speaks volumes about their future.

“The great thing about the UM band is that they’re at such a high level. It really is like working with a professional group,” says Schneider. “The band is without a doubt the strongest of the college bands in the states.”

Rafael Sangiovanni can be contacted at r.sangiovanni@umiami.edu.

February 4, 2005

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The land of palm trees, beaches and mojitos gave way to the land of the Liberty Bell, cheesesteaks a ...

The University of Miami on Thursday launched a national search as it begins the difficult task of re ...

It would be hard to blame Avery Huff for rethinking his commitment to the Miami Hurricanes right now ...

The losses keep coming for Miami Hurricanes football and Mark Richt. And this feels like the biggest ...

The University of Miami is losing the architect of one of the nation’s best defenses. UM defensive c ...

Commencement speakers share gems of insight and wisdom as more than 1,000 UM students graduate in tw ...

During a news conference Wednesday, a UM medical team talked about the clinical findings after exami ...

Your one-stop shop for University of Miami fall commencement information. ...

The University of Miami will welcome more than 1,000 new graduates into the UM alumni family during ...

A UM medical team has released the first report of acute symptoms and clinical findings in 25 person ...

Fall graduation ceremonies held Thursday at Watsco Center. ...

The Miami women's basketball team ascended one position in each of the major national polls thi ...

Gerald Willis III added to his postseason awards list, picking up second-team All-America honors fro ...

Following its longest break of the season thus far, the No. 25/23 Miami women's basketball team ...

Miami head women's tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews announced Friday the signing of two players ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.