The Art of Trio concert series’ kicks off first event

Maxine Minalga – Special to Southern News

The Art of Trio concert series’ first event was held in Engleman Hall on Sept. 30. The musicians were recording a live album, and included the audience right away.

The group of musicians was founded by Professor Rex Cadwallader, head of the jazz and applied piano departments. The trio began over 20 years ago, and two different guests joined Cadwallader on stage for a performance every few weeks during a semester. This week, Cadwallader was accompanied by David Chevan on bass and William Cleary on saxophone.

“I grew up in Houston, Texas where band programs are huge, you know, they have those giant marching bands and they’re almost military like. My brother played trumpet, so I guess I wanted to be like him,” said Cleary.  “The saxophone stuck out to me. It’s a beautiful looking instrument as well as sounding.”

Cleary became interested in jazz by its use of improvising when playing instruments.

“I was pretty happy. I was a little anxious actually. I mean, whenever you go back to school,
it can be a little nerve wracking,” said Cleary. “Everyone’s listening and other players are there and they’re looking for everything you might be doing wrong, but this small audience was a nice audience – supportive audience.”

He mentioned that some of the songs played were new to him, but it was fun to work around them.

“In general, some of the songs were not ones I’ve played in a long time and some were ones I’ve never played so it was fun to kind of work on them and bring them together and see what happened,” said Cleary.
Cleary commented that he personally felt good about the performance, but said he could play less.

“I feel like I play too many notes and use too much of the register and I should save it,”
said Cleary. “That is my own criticism of tonight’s performance.”

Some of the audience members were also eager to share their thoughts on the performance.
“I thought it was fantastic. I try and go to performances like this as often as I can. I liked how he included us,” said Professor Harrison, an exercise science professor.  “He invited us into his soul.”

Harrison, a fan of jazz, said that the ending was his favorite.

“I enjoyed the simplicity – I like jazz at its basic level,” said Harrison.

The Art of Trio will be back next week with Mr. Green. More information can be found on Southern’s music department website.

Photo Credit: Dylan Haviland – Arts & Entertainment Editor

Photo: Rex Cadwallader (Left), William Cleary (Middle) and David Chevan (Right)


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