UNL Jazz Singers ‘take off’ with DownBeat Award | Extra Quarter

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University of Nebraska-Lincoln jazz singers Glenn Korff School of Music were recently named winners of the 43rd Annual DownBeat Student Music Awards. The Jazz Singers are laureates in the “Large Vocal Jazz Ensemble Undergraduate College Outstanding Performances” category.

Created in 1976, the DownBeat Awards are considered the most prestigious awards in jazz education.

Led by David von Kampen, the Jazz Singers have submitted only live, unedited recordings of the fall semester concerts at Kimball Recital Hall. The recordings included “Groovin ‘Hard”, arranged by Dave Barduhn; arrangements of von Kampen’s “Fly Away Birdie”, with soloist Stefanie Vanderbeek; and “Maria Walks Amid the Thorn”, an unaccompanied Advent song “that blurs the line between jazz and chamber choir style,” according to von Kampen.

“I love that these three selections have a wide stylistic range and that they really show all the different things the band does well,” said von Kampen.

Jazz singers this year included Casey Allen, Halley Benjamin, Matthew Carter, Justin Eisenbeis, Noah Floersch, Michael Golden, Tess Jisa, Matthew Lowe, Elias Lozada, Greyson McCown, Olivia McCown, Madeline Reddel, Erik Skoog, Maddy Stark and Vanderbeek . The rhythm section consisted of Andrew Wray on drums and Christian Chesanek on bass.

Vanderbeek was also individually honored as an Outstanding Beginning Soloist in “Fly Away Birdie”. She graduated as a junior in advertising and public relations at UNL with minors in history, computer science and music technology. The performance “Fly Award Birdie” can be seen at https://youtu.be/UwPye7Z-izM.


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