Musicians hit sweet note with Van Meter audience

Kierstin Kirk

Blue lights shine on the stage in the Van Meter Hall auditorium creating a smooth, soulful mood similar to the sounds about to waft from the instruments of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Members walk onto the stage periodically to perform a sound check with their instruments, increasing the anticipation of the audience.

Emily Vogler is a freshman visual arts major from Jasper, Indiana and said her feelings before the show as pure excitement.

“I was a music student through high school and I’m excited to hear good music because I’ve missed it,” Vogler said.

The crowd is silenced when David Lee, the dean of Potter College, takes the stage to introduce the orchestra. Then with the change of lighting color and eruption of applause the orchestra takes the stage. Wynton Marsalis, the managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, introduces the first piece they are going to play, beginning the concert.

“They came in with energy and blew my expectations,” freshman Lucas Kimbler said.

Kimbler is a musical education major and Bowling Green native. He has been anticipating the concert and ordered his tickets a month and a half before the event, anticipating that they were going to sell out quickly.

Throughout the concert, Marsalis would introduce each piece with a description of the music, who composed it and what primary musician the audience would hear. He connected with the crowd and got many laughs out them with his humor and throwing in jokes here and there.

“He’s a really humorous guy and I enjoyed listening to him,” Vogler said.

With each piece, audience members would tap their feet and nod their heads along with the musicians. The crowd routinely shouted encouragements and burst into applause before each piece was over.

“They managed to top each piece they would play with the next one,” Kimbler said. “Even though some pieces weren’t as energetic as the other they still set the mood and kept the interest going.”

After the final piece is played, Marsalis ends the concert by stating each musicians name and having them stand up. In response, the crowd got up for a standing ovation, their applause echoing off the walls of the auditorium.

This event not only brought some entertainment to WKU’s campus, but also benefited the students in the music department as well. The concert exposed the students to music and performers they don’t usually get to see.

“I’ve never been to a jazz performance with world known musicians,” Kimbler said. “I’ve been to college and community performances but there’s no compare, it was awesome.”

Lee, also head of the Cultural Enhancement Series, was involved in the planning of the event, described the night as very successful.

“My expectations were high and they [the orchestra] exceeded them,” Lee said. “It was a tremendous event and great evening.”