New Jazz Ensemble Launching at NDC

The Notre Dame College band director is forming a new jazz ensemble.

David P. Roth, director of bands, is excited to add a smaller jazz group to the slate of performing arts opportunities open to Notre Dame students.

“Right now, we are looking at having a very basic jazz ensemble, incorporating just about any instrument interested in playing,” said Roth.

He said he hopes that at some point the group will evolve into a true jazz band, with only saxophones, trumpets, trombones and a rhythm section (guitar, bass, piano and drum set).

With help from Assistant Director of Bands Bryan Hannaford, Roth is currently searching for members for the ensemble from interested Notre Dame Concert Band members, but he said he is open to including other members of the Notre Dame community who are interested joining.

The jazz ensemble will rehearse once a week, with practice sessions coordinated with the current band rehearsal schedule.

Roth said he hopes to have the group formed in a few weeks and have their first performance in April.

The group will perform all types of music, not just jazz, but also swing, blues, rock and ballads.

With the new ensemble, Roth said he wants to expose band members to different styles of music and hopes to expand the band’s repertoire.

Timothy Little, executive director of performing arts at college, also is excited to see the band expand its offerings.

“Bands have been an integral part of NDC’s culture since the addition of athletics on campus. With new band leadership (this year), we are adapting to the needs of our students, providing additional experiences for our musicians and exploring ways to strengthen our performing ensembles,” said Little.

Roth arrived at the college this fall after having taught in Wyoming, Florida and at several high schools in Ohio.

He enjoys working with the Notre Dame students and learning new ways of helping students cultivate their love of music. He said he is proud of all of the students who are working hard to continue the strong tradition of music excellence at Notre Dame.

“I experience this with the feedback we receive from the administration, teachers, staff and the community who are thrilled with our performances and energy at events,” Roth said.

In addition to conducting the college bands, Roth is involved with the Department of Student Affairs and assists with the Performing Arts Program’s student recruitment process.

Roth also plays the tuba and bass trombone.

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