American Public Media airs Jacobs School of Music Pipedreams Concerts

American Public Media has released the October and November program listings for Pipedreams. Included are the two episodes of Pipedreams Live! recorded at the Jacobs School of Music in February of this year. The concerts feature performances by organ professors Janette Fishell and Christopher Young along with their students. The Feb. 13 Auer Hall recital airs on Monday, Oct. 10, while the Feb. 14 Alumni Hall recital airs on Monday, Oct. 17. Both programs can be heard at 10 pm locally on WFIU, and at other times throughout those weeks at stations around the country that carry Pipedreams.

PIPEDREAMS Program No. 1641: Airing on 10/10/2016
Pipedreams Live! at Indiana University (I) . . . from Auer Hall at the Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, this first of two programs featuring organ students of Janette Fishell and Christopher Young.

[Hour 1]
Tournemire/Duruflé: Improvisation sur le ‘Te Deum’ – JinHee Kim
J. S. Bach: Fugue in D Major, BWV 532 – Diana Chou
J. S. Bach: ‘Kyrie, Gott heilieger Geist’ from “Clavierubung III” – Matthew Gerhardt
Parry: Fantasia in G Major, Op. 188/1 – Lucas Fletcher
Reger: Benedictus, Op. 59 No. 9 – Leah Martin
Barié: Elégie – Mike Powell
Dupré: Cortège et litanie, Op. 19 No. 2 – Ryan Brunkhurst

[Hour 2]
Vierne: ‘Naiades’ from “Pièces de fantaisie, Suite IV, Op. 55” – Carolyn Craig
Bolcom: Sweet Hour of Prayer – Katie Burk
Mathias: Jubilate, Op. 67 No. 2 – Nikolai Peek
Albright: Chorale Prelude (1967) – Douglas Reed
Froberger: Toccata da sonarsi alla levatione – Nicholas Quardokus
Stang: Selections from “Potpourri” (2016) – Nicholas Quardokus
Escaich: Evocation II (1996) – Nara Lee

The featured instrument in Auer Hall was built by C. B. Fisk of Gloucester, MA (Opus 135, 68-ranks) and inaugurated in April 2010.

PIPEDREAMS Program No. 1642: Aairing on 10/17/2016
Pipedreams Live! at Indiana University (II) . . . from Alumni Hall at the Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, this second program featuring organ students of Janette Fishell and Christopher Young, plus their teachers.

[Hour 1]
Mendelssohn: Sonata in B-Flat Major, Op. 65 No. 4 – Brent te Velde
J. S. Bach: Nun komm der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659 – Nohn Nothaft
Bruhns: Praeludium in G Minor – Chere Ko
J. S. Bach: Selections from Organ Sonata No. 4 in E Minor, BWV 528 – Jaime Carini
Eben: ‘Gretchen’ from “Faust for Organ” – Janette Fishell
Sweelinck: Pavana lachrymae, SwWV 328 – Robert Welch

[Hour 2]
Glass/Riesman/Joyce: Satyagraha (Act III conclusion) – Christopher Young
Vierne: Organ Symphony No. 3 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 28 – Peter Rogahn
Vierne: Selections from “Pièces de fantaisie, Suite 1, Op. 51” – Dalong Ding
Dupré: Antiphon 3 and Magnificat 6, from Vepres du commun, Op. 18 – Charles Webb
Vierne: ‘Allegro’ from “Organ Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 20” – Nicole Simental

The featured instrument in Alumni Hall was built in 1987 by C. B. Fisk (Opus 91, 56-ranks) and originally installed in a special auditorium on the grounds of Pony Tracks Ranch in Portola Valley, CA. It was relocated to Bloomington in 2013.

For more information about these recitals, please visit the event pages:
February 13 Recital in Auer Hall
February 14 Recital in Alumni Hall

Career Digest – September 28, 2016

Title-Career-DigestA bi-weekly digest of career development information, ideas, events, and more from the Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development.

Welcome to the FIRST Career Digest from the Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development [OECD]. We will be bringing you career development information, ideas, events, and more. We welcome your ideas and suggestions – what do YOU want to know more about? Please let us know!


Alain Barker, Director |
Meryl Krieger and Joanie Spain, Career Advisors
Merrill Hall 011 – lower level, SE corner

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more news-you-can-use!
One on-one career advising | Workshops on resumes, cover letters, interview prep, and more | On-campus interviews, auditions, career fairs, career days, & employer info sessions | Print & Web career resources | Info about jobs, festivals, competitions, grants & more | Mentoring for ensembles, students orgs, & independent projects | Entrepreneurship Certificate, in partnership with the Kelley School of Business Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation | Project Jumpstart!

Visit the Career Portal
THIS APP’s FOR YOU! Download Careers by Symplicity for easy anytime access to OECD activities, workshop signup, and appointment scheduling!


UNAPOLOGETICALLY FEMALE: Women Shaping the Music Industry
September 38, 29, 30!
Join us this week for Project Jumpstart’s series – see the Calendar for details on the three sessions and to RSVP
Click Here for Info >

LIFE AFTER IU: Leveraging LinkedIn
TODAY Wed, Sept 28 | 6pm
Learn to harness the power of professional networking in the online world with this FREE LinkedIn webcast, sponsored by the IU Alumni Association!
Register online >

LAW SCHOOL FAIR: Nation’s Largest!
Mon, Oct 3 | 11am -3pm in Alumni Hall
If you are seriously considering law school, attendance at this event is highly recommended. For more information:
Email HPPLC at

More music and arts around campus:
FIRST THURSDAYS on the Arts Plaza
Thursday, Oct 6 | 5-7pm | by the Showalter Fountain
Music, food, dance, art, games, root beer floats, and more!
Click Here for Info >



CounselingMeet with an advisor to discuss your career plans, review your resume, CV, bio, website, or any other material. Student groups and ensembles welcome!
Log into the Career Portal to set up an appointment. If you’re logging in for the first time, you’ll need to fill out a few questions to create your profile. We’d love to see you!


ResourcesDo you have a project and need workspace? OECD/JumpstartCentral (MU011) has a conference room equipped with a large flat screen and camera that are great for web conferences, meeting notes, or brainstorming ideas. We also have a media studio with a fast PC, HD video cameras, a great DSLR camera, mics, etc. Student groups are especially welcome!


ResourcesDid you know that there are multiple d-bases full of job opportunities through the “Resources” tab of the OECD Website? We also have a library of excellent documents on how to apply for teaching positions, apply to graduate schools, start your own studio, start your own business, become an entrepreneurial musician, and much more.

Feel free to pop in to MU011 any time to check out the space and share your ideas.


Soprano Ailyn Pérez receives 2017 Sphinx Medal of Excellence

Soprano Ailyn Pérez has been named a recipient of the 2017 Sphinx Medal of Excellence. This tremendous honor is given … Continue reading

Weekly Digest – September 26, 2016

WEEKLY DIGEST September 26, 2016


ORCHESTRA REVIVAL? With the generally good news about orchestras across the US, is it time to consider a trend? Even with the troubles in Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia, Doug McLennan thinks so.


The Challenge of Presenting ‘African American music’: First, Define It Washington Post: Anne Midgette The African American Museum’s tacit mandate is to spotlight all of African American music — which is like trying to put a frame around a living person and call it a portrait.

The New Classical: How the Next Generation of Composers and Labels is Challenging Classical Music’s Status Quo The Independent: Hazel Shellfield The classical establishment may be forced to recognize contemporary composers for its own survival.

Can Music Save Your Life? The Chronicle Review: Mark Edmundson (2012 article) Who hasn’t at least once had the feeling of being remade through music? But does music constantly provide revelation—or does it have some other effects, maybe less desirable?

Here’s Evidence That Music Training Dampens Young Kids’ Aggressive Behavior Pacific Standard: Tom Jacobs In studying music, kids learn self-discipline, which proves beneficial in other aspects of life.

Why Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde is the Ultimate Opera The Guardian: Stephen Moss The Met’s new season begins with a uniquely potent four-hour hymn to love, sex and death – at the end of which the audience may feel as if they have witnessed something revelatory, even life-changing.

The Arts’ Surprising Return to the Job of Healing ArtsBlog: Judith Essex Many physicians and hospitals across the country and around the globe are once again recognizing a significant role for the arts in healthcare.


A MacArthur for the Composer Julia Wolfe The New Yorker: William Robin Today Wolfe is the first full-time classical composer to receive a MacArthur since Osvaldo Golijov, in 2003. At fifty-seven, Wolfe is known equally as a composer and as a co-founder of the new-music collective Bang on a Can.

2015 recipients of the National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal The Washington Post Honorees include Philip Glass, Berry Gordy, Ralph Lemon, Santiago Jiménez Jr., and Wynton Marsalis.

Updated: BMI Prevails over Department of Justice in 100% Licensing Dispute Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff The DOJ had ordered that BMI, as well as fellow performance rights organization ASCAP, to enable 100% licensing of all works within one year.

Last Week in the Music Business Digital Music News The formation of the Music Rights Awareness Foundation; why the Blurred Lines verdict is a disaster for the music industry; low rates to songwriters in the music industry; and much more.

A Most Inspiring Conference Greg Sandow (blog) A response to the offerings at the recent DePauw School of Music’s 21Cymposium by the keynote speaker.

For 25 Years, Cappella Romana has Given Ancient Music Modern Relevance OregonLive: Brett Campbell Portland-based vocal ensemble, which performs annual concert series in its hometown and Seattle, has released more than 20 recordings. Its tours have brought the group’s always powerfully moving music to venues such as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles’ Getty Center, the Smithsonian Institution, Stanford and Yale universities and festivals throughout Europe.

Suzanne Farrell Ballet to Disband in 2017 Washington Post: Sarah Kaufman The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, which for the past 15 years has showcased the works of Farrell’s mentor, George Balanchine, and which is bankrolled by the Kennedy Center, will shut down after a final series of performances in December 2017, the center has announced.


The Rise of Cultural Hubs in Asia The Stage (UK): Nick Awde A game-changer for global performing arts is certainly the powerhouse taking shape in Hong Kong: the West Kowloon Cultural District. Spread across 40 hectares of land reclaimed in the 1990s as part of the HK$200 billion Airport Core Programme, the hub is run by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and will include 17 core arts and cultural venues, as well as space for arts education.

Why Are There So Many Great Argentine Dancers? The New Yorker: Marina Harss The country has produced, and still produces—despite hard times, relative isolation, and constant political upheaval—people of great talent and accomplishment, in just about every field. This is especially striking in the world of dance.

All of Bach!The Netherlands Bach Society is looking forward to celebrating its first 100 years in the 2021-2022 season and the idea of performing all of J.S. Bach’s works emerged in 2013. Check out their amazing website, with performances in hand-picked locations.


Who’s Too Young for an App? Tests the Limits NYTimes: John Herrman hasn’t just found the coveted teenage audience – it may have gone lower. The app reaches youngsters, putting it into potential conflict with legislation that is aimed at safeguarding children.

The Music Industry Is Finally Making Money on Streaming Lucas Shaw After almost two decades of relentless decline caused by piracy and falling prices, the music business is enjoying a fragile recovery thanks to the growth of paid streaming services like Spotify Ltd. and Apple Music.

You Can Make More Money as a Part Time Jazz Instructor Than as a Lawyer NBC News: Nicole Audrey A recent survey by, a site that features telecommuting, part-time, freelance, and flexible job posts, found that part-time jobs can earn workers hourly pay rates of $50 or more, which, in a full-time role, could amount to a yearly salary of $104,000. Who says you can’t get rich playing music? If you have so much as a bachelor’s degree in music, humanities, or a related area, you can make close to $79 an hour teaching a jazz music courses.


Love Songs with a Side of Theory Chronicle of Higher Education: David Hajdu My older brother, Chuck, a folk-music purist, teased me mercilessly. “Don’t you realize pop songs are only trying to sell you something?” “But what’s wrong with what they’re selling?” I asked. It was only love.





IU Jazz Faculty and Alumni Voted into DownBeat Critics Poll

by Scott Gotschall

Congratulations to the IU faculty and alumni who were selected for the 2016 Downbeat Critics Poll! The full results can be found in the August 2016 issue of Downbeat.

Wayne Wallace

Wayne Wallace

Three current IU Jazz faculty made the Critics Poll. Wayne Wallace was listed for trombone, Dave Stryker was voted into the guitar category, and Walter Smith made the list for Rising Star – Tenor Saxophone. The Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet also was named in the Rising Star – Group category. The group features Jacobs School of Music faculty Wayne Wallace and Michael Spiro who are the directors of the IU Latin Jazz Ensemble.

Walter Smith III

Walter Smith III

IU alumni who made the Critics Poll as Established Artists include Randy Brecker (trumpet), Eric Alexander (tenor saxophone), Booker T. Jones (keyboard), and John Clayton (arranger). Scott Wendholt (trumpet), Roger Rosenberg (baritone saxophone), and Matt Mitchell (piano) were voted into the Critics Poll in the Rising Star section.

Sara Caswell

Sara Caswell

Alumna Sara Caswell deserves special mention for placing second in the Rising Star – Violin category. Sara has played with Esperanza Spalding, Bruce Springsteen, in the house band of Maya and Marty on NBC, and tours regularly with mandolinist Joe Brent’s group, 9 Horses.

The Critics Poll also recognized Hoagy Carmichael who was voted into the Veterans Committee Hall of Fame. This honor is conferred to artists who receive votes from 66% of the Veterans Committee. Carmichael was born in Bloomington and graduated from Indiana University with a law degree. He reported that the melody of “Stardust” came to him while he was walking on the campus of Indiana University. Carmichael also wrote other enduring classics such as “Georgia On My Mind”, “Skylark”, “Lazy River”, and “Rockin’ Chair”. His film career included playing the character “Smoke” in 1950’s Young Man With a Horn.

Dave Stryker is on a Roll! New CD Eight Track II

by Scott Gotschall
Eight Track IICongratulations to IU Jazz faculty member Dave Stryker, who appears this month in both Jazz Times magazine and DownBeat Magazine’s online edition. Stryker’s latest release, Eight Track II, came out September 2nd on his own Strikezone label, featuring Jared Gold, organ, McClenty Hunter, drums, and guest vibraphonist Steve Nelson.

In the Downbeat article, “Stryker’s Eight Track II Provides Portal to Groovy Past,” Stryker discusses his new release and how the material was chosen for Eight Track II, as well as his background prior to playing with Brother Jack McDuff and Stanley Turrentine and his thoughts about teaching jazz.

4PAN1T1PKSTCThe JazzTimes article, “An Overdue Ovation for Dave Stryker: Lessons from Mr. T and Mr. McDuff,” focuses on Stryker’s 2015 release, Messin’ With Mr. T, which pays homage to his mentor, Stanley Turrentine who Stryker played with from 1986 to 1995, and again for his final shows in September of 2000. In this article, Stryker talks about his formative years and his progression from playing and listening to Rock, to attending jam sessions and studying the music of Pat Metheny and Jim Hall.

Dave Stryker started teaching at IU in 2013. He teaches jazz guitar, combos, and rhythm section class with Professors Steve Houghton, Jeremy Allen, and Luke Gillespie. He accompanied the Plummer Jazz Sextet to the Institute of Jazz at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria this past March. An article featuring the Graz experience can be found in our previous newsletter.

4PAN1T1PKSTCStryker is enjoying a remarkable run in the last few years. His recent albums have received excellent reviews in Downbeat, with Routes receiving 4 1/2 stars in the May 2016 issue and Messin’ with Mr. T 4 1/2 stars in May 2015. He was the subject of a feature article on the first Eight Track album in June 2014. Eight Track reached #3 on the JazzWeek Radio Charts, Routes reached #2, and Messin’ with Mr. T reached #1. Stryker has also been listed in the Downbeat Critics Poll for best guitarists each year for the last several years.

Stryker keeps a busy performance schedule, playing all around the country. Between September 15 and 24 he appeared at Bear’s Place in Bloomington, the Nate Holden Theater in Los Angeles, the Indy Jazz Fest, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and the Savannah Jazz Festival.

IU Jazz Launches Jazz Alumni Hall of Fame

by Scott Gotschall and Tom Walsh

At the 2016 Jazz Celebration concert on April 23, seven individuals were inducted into the inaugural class of the Jacobs School of Music Jazz Alumni Hall of Fame: Jamey Aebersold, Buddy Baker, the late David Baker, Jerry Coker, Roger Pemberton, Whit Sidener, and Dominic Spera. Individually, they are pioneering authors, a leading publisher, prolific composer/arrangers, outstanding performers, and influential jazz educators and arts advocates. They have established and led some of the country’s most vibrant jazz studies programs, and their students have gone on to be Grammy Award winning performers and award winning composers, arrangers, authors, and educators who continue to spread the gospel of jazz. The collective impact of their work has reached many thousands of musicians around the world and it establishes the historical importance of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music as a significant fountainhead for jazz education.

Jazz Celebration-417 cropped

The Jazz Celebration included a panel discussion with the five Jazz Alumni Hall of Fame inductees who were able to attend the event: Roger Pemberton, Dominic Spera, Whit Sidener, Buddy Baker, and Jamey Aebersold. There was much laughter as they shared remarkable stories about their time at IU.

Awards Panel

The history of the IU Jazz Studies department began over 60 years ago. Remarkably, three of the newly inducted Jazz Alumni Hall of Fame members were students together at IU in 1950: Buddy Baker, Jerry Coker, and David Baker. In 1959, after completing his master’s degree, Buddy Baker was invited by Dean Wilfred Bain to lead a jazz band as the beginning of a new jazz program. Roger Pemberton joined him on faculty in 1961, teaching jazz arranging and composition and becoming the first to teach saxophone at Indiana University. While a student in Roger Pemberton’s saxophone studio, Jamey Aebersold became the first to perform jazz on a degree recital at Indiana University. He completed his master’s degree in 1962. Buddy Baker left IU in January of 1965 and Jerry Coker was appointed to teach jazz ensemble. Whit Sidener was a student at that time and played in the jazz ensemble led by Coker on a historic tour of the Near East and South Asia in the spring of 1966. Coker left IU in 1966 to start the jazz program at the University of Miami. Sidener followed him and subsequently joined the faculty at Miami and ultimately became a long-serving chair of the jazz department there. With Coker’s departure from IU, David Baker was hired to teach jazz courses at IU in 1966. The Jazz Studies degree was implemented in 1968 and David Baker remained chair of the program until 2013.Dominic Spera was a graduate student in the mid-1960s, leading the second jazz ensemble, and he joined the jazz department faculty in 1977 and remained until his retirement in 1997.

The influence these early pioneers of jazz education have had on the field is immeasurable. We are proud to recognize these seven performers, educators, and innovators as the first class of the IU Jazz Alumni Hall of Fame. You can find our new page honoring these seven inductees from the “History” section on our department homepage here.

Dean Gwyn Richards and Jazz Studies Chair Tom Walsh presented the awards.

Buddy Baker

Buddy Baker

Dominic Spera

Dominic Spera

Jamey Aebersold

Jamey Aebersold

Whit Sidener

Whit Sidener

Roger Pemberton

Roger Pemberton

Lida Baker accepts the award on behalf of David Baker.

Lida Baker accepts the award on behalf of David Baker.

1965-66 IU Jazz Ensemble 50-Year Reunion

by Tom Walsh

This past spring members of the 1965-66 IU Jazz Ensemble gathered in Bloomington May 27-29 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their historic tour of the Near East and South Asia. The tour came about as a result of being selected as the winning big band at the Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival in 1965 under the leadership of Jerry Coker. Following on this honor, the group was invited by the U.S. State Department to embark on a cultural diplomacy tour of the Near East and South Asia in early 1966. Members of the ensemble were allowed to miss an entire semester of school to represent the IU School of Music. They experienced both the beauty and wonder of the exotic places they visited and they also suffered primitive conditions, witnessed political unrest, and directly felt the political tensions of the day.

To learn more about this extraordinary tour, read the article written by band member Craig Andrews, “A Life-Altering Event: The 1966 IU Jazz Ensemble U.S. State Department Near East & South Asia Cultural Exchange Concert Tour.”

The 2016 reunion began Friday, May 27 with a performance and jam session at Bear’s Place organized by Bloomington jazz trumpeter and promoter David Miller. The evening started off with a tribute to David Baker. David Lahm led members of the 1966 jazz ensemble in a reading of his piece, “A Portrait of Dave Baker.” Lahm met Baker in 1959 at the Lenox School of Jazz and wrote this gospel-flavored tune in the 1980s to capture Baker’s soulful personality.


The performance included David Lahm, piano, Whit Sidener, flute, Jerry Greene, alto saxophone, Gary Campbell, tenor saxophone, Carl Atkins, alto saxophone, Randy Brecker, trumpet, and Don Harry, tuba from the 1965-66 band. They were joined by Lon Gormley on trombone, 2016 graduate Quinn Sternberg on bass, and former IU Jazz student John Valdez on drums. Also in attendance were Craig Andrews, Chris Gallaher, Andy McDonald, Brian Martz, Paul Navarro, and Gary Smart. Afterwards members of the band—Randy Brecker, Gary Campbell, Jerry Greene, Carl Atkins, and David Lahm—took turns performing a few tunes. Pianist Gary Smart also took to the stage to perform an original blues composition. A few IU Jazz students mixed into the ensuing jam session which was led by David Miller and continued past midnight.

An additional treat for those in attendance that evening at Bear’s Place was to hear one track of a recording the band made during their tour. The band recorded a full record album of music on April 21, 1966, while in Beirut, Lebanon. In 2009, a collector discovered this record and posted about it on the website Waxidermy. One of the pieces from the band’s book on the tour, Whit Sidener’s arrangement of Billy Strayhorn’s “Take the ‘A’ Train,” was performed as part of the 2016 Jazz Celebration in honor of Whit being inducted into the IU Jazz Alumni Hall of Fame and to commemorate the 1966 Tour.

On Saturday a subset of the group gathered to tour the “Old Building” (Merrill Hall) and the “Round Building” (Music Addition). Starting in Recital Hall, moving to the teaching studios on the 3rd floor of Merrill Hall, and then to the rooms where the jazz ensembles rehearsed on the 4th floor of the Music Addition, the group reminisced about studying with professors such as Bill Adam, Eugene Rousseau, Tom Beversdorf, Phillip Farkas, and others.

Whit Sidener, Carl Atkins, Craig Andrews, Brian Martz, Jerry Greene, Randy Brecker, Paul Navarro, Gary Campbell, and Andy McDonald gather in MA404.

Whit Sidener, Carl Atkins, Craig Andrews, Brian Martz, Jerry Greene, Randy Brecker, Paul Navarro, Gary Campbell, and Andy McDonald gather in MA404.


“It was particularly interesting to me to see how little has changed in what we called ‘the old building’ and what is referred to today as ‘the round building’,” Craig Andrews noted. “It was particularly moving for me to stand outside Mr. Adam’s old studio and to return to our jazz ensemble rehearsal room on the 4th floor of ‘the round building’.”

Red-JacketThe group also socialized together and Chris Gallaher donned the band’s red tour jacket to commemorate the occasion.

Reflecting on their experience, Gary Smart said, “I think the ’66 tour was the beginning of my love affair with travel, other cultures and their ways of thinking about life, their arts, languages, spiritual life, foods, all of it. I left as a Midwesterner and came back changed. My mind was opened to a world of possibilities.” But, he continued, “I sure was happy to get home I remember. I have always appreciated being an American after seeing the Mideast! And yet I came back admiring many things about those cultures. We all learned so much from the experience.”

This was not the first reunion of the 1965-66 IU Jazz Ensemble and it will likely not be the last. In May 2015, the group gathered for an “almost 50-year reunion” in Knoxville, Tennesse, home of Jerry Coker. They plan to meet again in Bloomington in two years.

Through the Tour these musicians forged a bond that has lasted for 50 years. Brian Martz noted, “As we gathered for our first reunion I found that I was really glad to see every person as they walked through the door, and I felt a deep connection to each and every one. That was wonderful! And one of my favorite parts of both reunions was the memories that were shared as the photos from the tour that Chris Gallaher and I brought were projected onto a screen. People remembered things that I didn’t know had happened, and some of us got into some pretty crazy situations, and somehow managed to get out of them, too. We had a great time together!

Randy Brecker echoed these sentiments, “What I enjoyed most about the reunion was the camaraderie we still felt and have after all this time has passed… and the jam session was a lot of fun!”

A Life-Altering Event: The 1966 IU Jazz Ensemble U.S. State Department Near East & South Asia Cultural Exchange Concert Tour

By Craig Andrews (B.M. 1969)

1966 Tour--IU Auditorium
On January 29, 1966, the Indiana University Jazz Ensemble – known as the “first” of three jazz ensembles in the School of Music at that time – departed the U.S. on a 109-day tour sponsored by the U.S. State Department.  This 19-member jazz band led by Jerry Coker – as well as a sextet comprised of ensemble members – played over 80 concerts in Ceylon (today’s Sri Lanka), India, East Pakistan (today’s Bangladesh), West Pakistan (today’s Pakistan), Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Greece and Cyprus.

How did this happen?  In the Spring of 1965, the I.U. Jazz Ensemble (the “first band”) won the Notre Dame Intercollegiate Jazz Festival.  It was there that the group came to the attention of State Department officials, who began discussing with the university the possibility of the I.U. Jazz Ensemble touring the Near East and South Asia to bring American jazz to that part of the world.  By the time the 1965 Fall semester began, plans had been formulated and confirmed and The Tour was set to begin the following January.

Jerry Coker soloing

Jerry Coker soloing – Lahore, Pakistan

Members of the ensemble’s saxophone section were Jerry Greene and Carl Atkins on alto, Gary Campbell and Pat Mancino on tenor, and Whit Sidener on baritone.  The trumpet section was Larry Wiseman, Chris Gallaher, Randy Brecker and myself.  Paul Navarro and Mark Williamson played French horn.  The trombones were Brian Martz and Andrew McDonald with Arthur Moore on bass trombone.  Don Harry played tuba.  The pianist in the big band was Gary Smart, while David Lahm was the pianist in the sextet.  Brent McKesson played bass, and Stan Gage was the drummer.

Clyde Dunn, a veteran State Department foreign service officer with long experience in the Middle East, was the ensemble’s traveling escort officer.  25-year-old trumpet player and arranger Chris Gallaher, who had just completed his Master of Music degree at I.U., managed the individual ensemble members’ “per diem” travel expenses paid by the State Department and issued by the U.S. embassy in each country.  He also maintained records of everyone’s “per diem” account.  This time-consuming but unheralded task kept Chris very busy throughout The Tour as we moved from country to country, each with its own unique currency: from rupees to rials to dinars to pounds to drachmas and beyond.

It’s impossible to provide a truly comprehensive description of The Tour and what it meant to those of us who participated in it.  However, suffice to say, from our January 29th departure until our final concert in Nicosia, Cyprus on May 17th, we had truly singular experiences, some that were extremely positive and some that were quite the opposite.  Many of our experiences are difficult to describe and can only be fully understood and appreciated by those of us who were there.  However, here’s an abridged version of some of The Tour’s events to provide readers just a “taste” of it.

The Band in Jerusalem

The IU Jazz Ensemble at Church of the Holy Sepulchre in  Jerusalem

We played American big band jazz in the open air at the edge of jungles in Sri Lanka with elephants hanging around the periphery.  We also played by the light of Coleman lanterns when the electrical system failed during a concert in Sri Lanka.  We took an eight-hour trip in an ancient bus across half of southern India with no food or water, then got into our uniforms and played jazz for a large and appreciative audience in Bangalore.  We walked in the streets of what were then called Calcutta and Bombay.  From inside our upscale hotel in Calcutta, we listened to food riots outside.  We landed in a propeller-driven aircraft in Pakistan in a dust storm so severe we could not see the tarmac of the airfield until we descended the ladder and stepped on concrete.  We played jazz in Pakistani concert halls that were segregated by gender with curtains.  We visited the Khyber Pass.  We played American jazz on Iranian television. We played a very well-received concert at the University of Tehran, something that would be impossible today.  We toured the ruins of Persepolis, the palace of the ancient Persian kings Xerxes, Darius and Artaxerxes.  To travel from Abadan, Iran to Basra, Iraq, we rode British embassy boats up the Shatt al Arab River which separates those two countries.  We visited the ruins of Ctesiphon, one of the great cities of ancient Mesopotamia, and played jazz on a Saturday evening at the University of Baghdad.

Getting off the plane at Baghdad

Getting off the plane at Baghdad

The sextet had to terminate a concert at the University of Damascus when protests against Israel and the Vietnam War by the student audience became violent. We rode camels around the Pyramids at Giza and spent Easter riding a bus down the Nile Valley from Alexandria to Cairo.  We saw Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Sphinx, the ancient Roman temples at Baalbeck and the Acropolis.  Some of us swam in the Mediterranean.  We played separate concerts in the Turkish and Greek sectors of Cyprus and shared a hotel with United Nations soldiers trying to maintain relative peace between those two warring ethnic groups.   Through it all, we represented the Indiana University School of Music.

Randy Brecker soloing

Randy Brecker soloing

From a musical perspective, I’m convinced the 1965/1966 I.U. Jazz Ensemble represented a unique confluence of a number of uncommon factors.   First, Jerry Coker was a wonderful leader, instrumentalist and arranger who had a true teaching heart.  Jerry loved the band and we knew it.  Second, our repertoire was almost entirely written and/or arranged by Coker and band members Whit Sidener and Chris Gallaher.  Third, we had a great lead trumpet player, the late Larry Wiseman, and an awesome drummer, the late Stan Gage.  Fourth, the inclusion in the brass section of two French horns and tuba, and the availability of flute, clarinet and oboe in the woodwind section, gave the band a unique tonal palette.  Lastly, the band’s major soloists – Randy Brecker, Jerry Greene, Gary Campbell, and Whit Sidener – were truly exceptional.

An aspect of The Tour that still resonates with ensemble members today is the constant focus in the current news on the countries we visited.  Syria is one example.  Something appears in the news virtually every day regarding that terribly unfortunate country.  We visited both Damascus and Aleppo, but the big band never played a concert in Syria due to political turmoil.  Events occurring in Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, and Egypt are also in the news almost daily.  So, for the surviving members of the 1965/1966 I.U. Jazz Ensemble, our private thoughts can never seem to drift very far from the life-changing experiences we shared fifty years ago.

Click here to see more photos in the 1966 Near East and South Asia Tour Photo Gallery.

OECD Weekly Digest – September 12, 2016


The North-South Divide in American Creativity America’s Great Creative Divide isn’t between the coasts and the center, but rather between North and South. Take a look at the map of the USA in this article and you’ll be amazed.


Playing For Their Lives: The El Sistema Story Barry’s Blog Arts Educator, Eric Booth has championed the project for a long time.  Now he, and collaborator, Tricia Tunstall, have published a book on the phenomenon – Playing for Their Lives.

Opera Needs Radical Overhaul to Survive The Stage: Graham Vick Graham Vick is artistic director at Birmingham Opera Company (UK).

Does Opera Deliver Enough Bang for its very Sizeable Buck? Limelight (Australia): Guy Noble It might be unfair to compare Madam Butterfly, a poignant tragedy with the witty filth of The Book Of Mormon, but both were playing in London, both are entertainments, and tickets cost roughly the same. One delivered and one didn’t, and sound was one of the main differences.

Why the Uneasy Relationship Between Dance and Screens Matters ArtsJournal: Veronica Dittman Stanich On the Internet, there is little occasion for someone who didn’t set out looking for coverage of dance to serendipitously happen upon it. The small phone screen also emerges as a vehicle that can introduce casual viewers to concert dance.

Music, Multiculturalism and Mr. Dasu Colin Teaock (blog) Nouman Dasu is a Muslim man who lives in Toronto. For the last three years, he has been trying to have his children exempted from music classes in a public elementary school. He has stated that music is against his religious views.


How New York City Became the Epicenter of Jazz Observer: Ted Gioia Great jazz artists often don’t come from Manhattan, but they struggle to build a reputation and gain career traction if they don’t come to Manhattan.

So You Have $500 Million? Here’s a Shopping List for the Philharmonic’s New Hall NY Times: Michael Cooper A frequent concertgoer (and NY Times critic) offers a few suggestions.

Indy Symphony Reaches Contract a Year Early IndyStar: Allison Carter Four years ago, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra contract negotiations were so contentious that musicians were locked out and sought work elsewhere.

Detroit Symphony Launches Adult Amateur Ensemble The Detroit News Officials say the Detroit Symphony Community Orchestra is the first of its kind for the professional orchestral organization founded in the late 19th century.

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Cancels More Concerts as Strike Continues Star-Telegram: Andrea Ahles Musicians went on strike last week after rejecting a proposed contract that included pay cuts and higher costs for health insurance. The symphony canceled its 2016-2017 season opening concerts last weekend as a result. Colorado Symphony Posts First Budget Surplus in 26 seasons, Hires New Music Director Denver Business Journal For the first time since it was organized in 1989, the Colorado Symphony is beginning a new concert season with a budget surplus, $1.7 million in cash in the bank and substantial financial commitments toward a goal of creating a $50 million permanent endowment.

Igor Levit wins Gramophone’s 2016 Recording of the Year Award Gramophone Levit’s recording of Bach, Beethoven and Rzewski wins the top prize at this year’s Gramophone Classical Music Awards

After Years Underground, a Subway Singer Gets the Spotlight NY Times: Susan Hartman Alice Tan Ridley, the mother of the Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe, has been singing in the subway system for 30 years. She will soon perform at the Highline Ballroom in Chelsea, in connection with the release of her debut album.


European Union Tells YouTube: Pay Artists More! Digital Music News: Daniel Adrian Sanchez It’s difficult to argue that YouTube pays sufficiently for music and video content. But according to the BBC, a new European draft directive to reform copyrights laws will have video sites like YouTube pay more to both musicians and record companies, whether YouTube likes it or not.

Dancers Protest New Leadership Plans at Staatsballett Berlin NY Times: Roslyn Sulcas More than 5,000 signatures have been posted on a petition started by the dancers of the Staatsballett Berlin to protest the appointment of the contemporary dance choreographer Sasha Waltz as one of the company’s next artistic directors.

Internet Makes Audiences Harder to Wow, Royal Ballet’s Newest Stars Say The Telegraph: Hannah Furness While online videos have taken away some of the “wow-factor”, leading people to expect ever-higher jumps and faster pirouettes, they have vowed to prove ballet can be ever more exciting thanks to its storytelling and emotion.

UK Arts Council to Impose Quantitative Measures of Arts Quality Arts Professional Arts Council England is forging ahead with plans to impose a standardized system for measuring artistic quality on its NPOs, despite a lukewarm sector response and warnings that this will require a “quantum change” in organizational attitudes to data.


Music’s Salvation Might Be Selling Not Songs, But Virtual Reality Wired Magazine: David Pierce Ultimately, VR’s appeal to the music industry goes way beyond music videos. Music is about connection, closeness, shared experience. VR may not be able to put you on the tour bus—but in all the other ways that matter, it kind of can.

Cleveland Orchestra Looking for Loyalty with Flexible New ‘Members Club’ Subscription Plan The Plain Dealer: Zachary Lewis The program, now active and deployed through a new smartphone app, is open to all but targets young and middle-aged people who would like to attend more frequently but choose not to commit to traditional subscriptions.


At The Edge of A Cliff, An Orchestra Performs The Fresno Bee: Andrew Fiala Perched on the edge of a cliff, the Mariposa Symphony Orchestra performed original pieces composed in honor of Yosemite and the centennial of the National Park Service