Jazz Orchestra presents holiday show

The Southern Jazz Orchestra will present its annual SJO Swingin’ Holiday Show on Dec. 3 in the Corley Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. The event, which will occur in conjunction with the annual holiday festival Southern Lights held on the Oval, will feature both holiday themed music and non-holiday themed jazz music.

“It involves the Southern Jazz Orchestra playing a number of its non-holiday selections—some of the more big band jazz selections that it works on throughout the semester,” said Jeffrey Macomber, professor of music. “Then we have a second set; we have a part A, and part B will be all holiday music.”

According to Macomber, faculty members from the Music Department also help conduct voice auditions for the concert every year in order to showcase a vocalist who will perform with the 18 members of the Jazz Orchestra.

“Every year we offer a student an opportunity to sing these tunes with the Jazz Orchestra,” said Macomber. “We audition singers in the department and declare an audition winner, and then that winner is invited to perform with the band that year.”

This year, sophomore music major Jessie Pendergraft was declared the winner of the auditions and will join SJO for the performance.

Macomber says he created the Swingin’ Holiday Show seven years ago out of “a need to develop more holiday programming within the music department.”

The tradition of pairing the event up with the  Southern Lights holiday festival, however, came about in a different way.

“It was a happenstance,” said Macomber. “We may have missed a year here or there, but it just happened to appear at approximately the same time, so we started working with Kelly Wilson, [director of Advising, Counseling, and Testing Services (ACTS) and coordinator of Southern Lights], to line them up so they happen on the same day and make a marketable event that would put people in the holiday spirit.”

The SJO Swingin’ Holiday Show will follow the conclusion of the annual tree lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. and is scheduled to serve as the closing for the Southern Lights holiday festival. It is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Macomber at (417) 625-9635.

“Go to the tree lighting ceremony,” said Macomber, “And then stroll over to Corley Auditorium and catch a 7:30  p.m. concert with the Southern Jazz Orchestra.”