Among the new members of the band is freshman Amanda Crump of Baton Rouge. Crump, a graduate of St. Michael The Archangel High School, was lead trombonist in the Louisiana Music Educator’s Association All State Jazz Ensemble the past two years and will be the NSU Jazz Orchestra’s lead trombonist this year.
“I’m glad I have the opportunity to be at Northwestern and that Mr. Galindo Rodriguez recruited me for the Jazz Orchestra,” said Crump. “It’s great to have all the opportunities to play. That is going to give me more experience and make me a better musician.”
Crump said she started playing trombone in fourth grade.
“I guess it was because it was the biggest instrument and I was kind of a tomboy,” said Crump. “I started playing jazz in my junior year. My high school band director, Kevin Andry, inspired me to play jazz. Mr. Andry was responsible for a lot of the progress I made and the success I have had. I also thank my private teacher Andy Pizzo for all the work he has done with me.”
The Spirit of Northwestern’s opening show will include members of the All Honors Band and participants in Demon Drum and Color Guard Day. The band will open halftime featuring the Demon Drum and Color Guard Day participants to the tune of Devil with a Blue Dress. The band will continue with a medley of 70s funk tunes including That’s The Way I Like It and Play That Funky Music. The All Honors Band participants will then join the band and vocal soloist Technical Sergeant Lane McCray on the Lee Greenwood classic God Bless the USA.
“It’s going to be something to be part of a 300-member band and be able to perform,” said Crump. “We had an outstanding band at St. Michael, but it’s different going from a 50-60 member band to one with 300. I admit I am going to be a little nervous, but I have practiced and am prepared.”
The 70s style music is familiar to Crump.
“I like to listen to J.J. Johnson, who was a great trombonist,” she said. “I also like Miles Davis and a lot of the artists who play funk.”
Crump was recruited by a number of universities because of her musical talent. A trip to Northwestern State last fall helped her make her college decision.
“I met Mr. Rodriguez at a performance of the All-State Jazz Ensemble and decided to visit Northwestern. I really liked the vibe here,” said Crump. “I attended the Christmas Gala with my family and that was a deal maker for me. The Gala really showcased the arts. You rarely see so many areas work together like they do at Northwestern.”
Crump’s plan is to earn a master’s degree in jazz studies after graduating from Northwestern State. After just two weeks at Northwestern State, she knows the university’s faculty will be here to help her.
“The faculty has the ability to help you develop your talent,” said Crump. “ I look forward to learning from them.”
The NSU’s Jazz Orchestra’s first performance is Oct. 10 in Magale Recital Hall. Information on the NSU Jazz Orchestra and other opportunities within the Mrs. H.D. Dear Sr. and Alice E. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts is available at capa.nsula.edu.