The Ringgold Band and Messiah College Jazz Ensemble will be bringing their talents to the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center stage on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
The performance, scheduled for April 18 beginning at 4:30 p.m., is free to the public, but tickets are required.
The Messiah College Jazz Ensemble is regarded as one of the premier college jazz ensembles in Pennsylvania. The college's jazz program is comprised of two big bands, small groups, vocal jazz and applied jazz improvisation lessons, and their training becomes visible when they perform.
The ensemble plays classic swing charts to modern arrangements. They recorded their first album, “Swing, Sweet Spirit,” in 2005, and plan to record a follow-up sometime this year.
One of America's first community bands, The Ringgold Band formed in 1852 in Berks County. Their concert programs feature classics songs, symphonic overtures, show tunes, solos and marches.
Their performance at Pitt-Johnstown marks the start of The Ringgold Band's mini concert tour before they return home to prepare for their annual spring concert.
Michael Bodolosky, Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center executive director, said that while the Messiah Jazz Ensemble has performed at the campus before, the Ringgold Band has not. He explained that the show came to fruition per their requests.
“Both bands requested to play here en route to Erie for the PA Music Educators Conference,” Bodolosky said. “Also, I am friends with both conductors. Bill Stowman (Messiah Ensemble conductor) and I are acquainted through (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) and I have performed with Bill's big band over the past few summers.”
Bodolosky said that he thinks audiences will enjoy the show and all the variety it has to offer.
“It is a combination of all styles of instrumental music from concert band, brass band, Johns Phillip Sousa to big-band jazz and swing, along with some modern music,” he said.
He encouraged community members to take advantage of the free tickets.
“This is an opportunity to feature young people doing some fantastic things,” Bodolosky said. “Broaden your listening ears and have fun.”
For more information or to request tickets, visit the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center's new website at www.upjarts.org or call the box office at 814-269-7200.