Big Band Panel Master Class – April 6, 2002

The first part of ASMAC’s Big Band Workshop was held on April 6th at LA Valley College. It was an historic event, well attended and very successful. Moderated by Allyn Ferguson, the distinguished panel of arranger/composers consisted of Lyle (Spud) Murphy, Bob Florence, Pete Rugolo and Patrick Williams. All of the above discussed music, spoke about some of their experiences in the business, and shared some of their music. Spud Murphy played, “Get Happy,” a Benny Goodman hit, Pete Rugulo played, “Lover,” with Stan Kenton on piano. Bob Florence’s piece was entitled, “Serendipity 18,” followed by Patrick Williams’ sonata entitled, “Concerto in Swing,” which was written for Eddie Daniels. Finally, Allyn Ferguson played part of his outstanding arrangement of “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

The 2nd part of the ASMAC Big Band Writers Workshop was held Saturday, May 25 at L.A. Valley College. Students had submitted scores to be rehearsed and recorded, and five excellent scores were selected by the ASMAC Workshop Committee. The Committee members were Ralph Kessler (chairman), Duane Tatro, Chuck Fernandez, Dell Hake, Bonnie Janofsky and Christopher Guardino. The student scores selected were by Billy Frenzel, Steve Campos, Hanne Helledie Moller, Gerhard Guter and Cesar Benito.

Kim Richmond assembled the Workshop Big Band. The members of the band were: Saxophones: Jeff Driskill, Phil Feather, Glen Berger, Vince Tombetta, Jr., Bob Carr. Trumpets: Dennis Farias, Ron King, Clay Jenkins, Jack Feierman. Trombones: Les Benedict, Charlie Morillas, Mike Barone, Morris Repass. Rhythm: Mike Asher (piano), Tom Hynes (guitar), Rick Shaw (bass), and Ralph Razze (drums)

The students all conducted their own pieces (sometimes with Kim Richmond’s help), and ASMAC members in attendance and band members made encouraging comments, including compliments, criticisms and constructive suggestions regarding elements of the pieces, including notation and music preparation. The works were of high caliber and everyone was happy with the workshop.

ASMAC thanks the Recording Industry Music Trust Fund for helping to make this workshop possible.