Cleveland Jazz Orchestra at AU

By Lindsay Cameron

Two AU professors performed in the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra concert in Hugo Young Theatre September 14.

Associate Professor Scott Garlock said there used to be two professors from Youngstown and Akron in the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, but now AU is the only school who has two professors involved currently. It says a lot about AU’s music department, Garlock said, because AU is not a conservatory or a music school with “700 majors.”

Dr. Tom Reed has been with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra on and off since 1986. On many occasions he would substitute for someone who could not attend.

Reed, the chair of the music department, teaches classes in music performance.

“I am sort of living out what I am teaching my students to do-to play their instruments well, to be versatile, and to work with other folks. So it really keeps me sharp and keeps me thinking about the skills they need to have,” Reed said, “and plus, it’s great fun.”

Scott Garlock, associate music professor and director of the AU jazz orchestra, has been with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra since 1986. At the concert, Garlock played lead trombone. He said he began as a trumpet player in the fifth grade but made the switch to trombone once he had braces.

Reed said usually most of the musicians only drive five or ten minutes to performances, while he and Garlock carpool to shows an hour away. The roles reversed last Tuesday because the concert was in Hugo Young.

Netiher Reed nor Garlock knew what pieces they would be performing that night. They rehearse before each show and often decide the program then.

“We do show up often for performances and sight read on the spot, and nobody knows but us. It’s kind of cool. I know, because I’m sweating like crazy,” he said with a laugh.

“The caliber of musicians is unparallel to anything else I ever get a chance to do. They are really kicking my backside, and I think everyone kind of feels that way. You have people that have played with the greatest artists, alive and not alive,” Garlock said.

Garlock said he has been exposed to a lot of literature and compositions through the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra that he would not have been exposed to otherwise, which helps in the classroom.

Playing in the jazz orchestra is not only a helpful resource for students, but also for the two as faculty members.

“He’s a fabulous musician. It’s always a pleasure to play with him because you know he is going to be prepared. You know he’s going to be able to grab all of the parts and make them sparkle,” Garlock said about Reed.

At the concert the Cleveland Jazz orchestra played music from the big band jazz era and some contemporary jazz. Garlock said they write and play their own music, as well, to “promote the medium and further it.” Both Reed and Garlock performed solos in various pieces.