Continuing education brings a song to DMACC By Jarrett Quick

Experienced musicians and vocalists here at DMACC are now able to stay musically active thanks to two jazz ensemble programs introduced earlier this year.

Both the vocal and instrumental programs are for experienced musicians and serve as a means for local musicians to have a medium to play and practice with like minded musicians.

“We don’t want it to be a training program.” Jim Loos said, DMACC’s Music Program Chair and Professor.

The program has had a wide variety of talent levels take advantage of it’s benefits, but being an experienced musician that is comfortable performing is a requirement for the program.

Anyone from high school students looking to play jazz in a organized capacity to teachers taking advantage of the programs credit towards license renewal on teaching licenses. For $25, public school faculty can earn this renewal credit through the Heartland AEA.

“The guitar player had played at the UNI jazz band while he was at school.” said Loos.

“We decided to work it through continuing ed because we wanted to attract people who weren’t necessarily students at DMACC.” Lois Kiester, Continuing Education Coordinator, said.

“They all really want to perform and this helps provide them an audience.” Keister said.

This semester the songs have yet to be chosen for the new group. Traditionally, the program practices and performs “The standard approach to jazz band repertoire… from salsa to big band”  Loos said. Last semester, the program performed one jazz standard, a pop standard from  the 1930’s, and a song by The Beatles.

On April 6th DMACC’s music program will present a concert on campus, including both Jazz ensemble courses alongside the rest of DMACC’s musically inclined students.

For students interested in other Jazz opportunities on campus, DMACC also offers the course “Jazz History and Appreciation” instructed by Instructor Scott Davis.

This semester the Vocal Jazz Ensemble is offered  as a volunteer program  with no fee, while the Instrumental program is  $120 . Both programs have sign ups still available.

The Instrumental Jazz Ensemble meets 7 to 8:30 p.m on Mondays until April 22nd and and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble meets 5:15 to 6:4 on Mondays until April 25th. Both meet in Room 41 in Building 5. For more information, Program Chair Jim Loos can be contacted through e-mail at jcloos@dmacc.edu or by phone at 515-964-6633.

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