The annual alumni reunion concert of the 1980s Fredonia Jazz Ensemble is slated for Sunday, Nov. 9, at 1:00 pm in Rosch Recital Hall at the State University of New York at Fredonia. The concert is free and open to the public.
During the 1980s the group traveled to various jazz competitions and festivals across the U.S. and Canada that included Epcot Center, the Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival and festivals in Oakland, Calif., as well as in Vancouver and Toronto, Canada. At each festival the ensemble received numerous awards for excellence. The ensemble was directed by Pat Patterson, John Coggiola, Kevin Peters, Wayne Davison and Mike Willis.
For four years the ensemble staged reunion concerts in Syracuse that were attended by Fredonia Alumni Director Patricia Feraldi and Dr. Linda Phillips, former advisor to the 1980s group. Last year marked the first performance on campus by the group when they returned to perform in Rosch Recital Hall. As Dr. Phillips states, “The ensemble is like a family and was a support to members during their college years just like a real family would be.” For some members this will mark their first time back on campus since the 1980s. The Syracuse concert two years ago was a continuation of the family as three children of members performed in the concert alongside their parents.
The Fredonia concert will feature tunes by Rob McConnell, Neal Hefti, Joe Zawinul and saxophonist Don Menza, a student at Fredonia who left to play with the Maynard Ferguson band. Alumnus Russell Partrick, who continues to serve as manager of the band, noted “The members are excited about returning to campus, some after at least 23 years.” Several members have also returned to campus during the time their children attended Fredonia.