News & Events




Press Release



April 21, 2015

Cowley College Music Department to present spring jazz concert 


The Cowley College Music Department is proud to feature the Cowley College Singers and Cowley College Jazz Band during its spring jazz concert on Tuesday, April 28. There is no cost to attend the concert which will begin at 7 p.m. in the Robert Brown Theatre.


Opening the concert will be homegrown talent Mary Beth Byers, performing with her group, the Mary Beth Quintet. The performance marks the first effort supported by the newly established Cowley College Jazz Initiative, an entity funded by the V.J. Wilkins Foundation.


“The Jazz Initiative is a dream come true,” said Josh Fleig, director of instrumental music. “We are so grateful to the V.J. Wilkins Foundation for their generous support of our endeavor. Our first big event won’t be until next school year, but we wanted to bring in a guest artist this semester. We are delighted that the Mary Beth Quintet will be here to open our spring concert.”


The purpose of the Cowley College Jazz Initiative, which received funding from the V.J. Wilkins Foundation in December of 2014, is to promote the art of jazz music in Cowley County.


“We plan to do this by bringing in great jazz artists and by providing educational experiences to our students as well as to area high school students,” Fleig said.


The CC Singers, under the direction of Connie Donatelli, will perform a wide variety of vocal jazz arrangements and charts from current artists such as Greg Jasperse, Michael Buble, Steve Zegree, Paris Rutherford and the great masters from the past, such as Duke Ellington, Jimmy Giuffre and Harold Arlen. 


The CC Singers will be accompanied by members of the Cowley Jazz rhythm section, featuring Levi Sutton on bass, Henry Flickinger on drums and Mr. Josh Fleig, director of instrumental music on guitar.


The CC Singers will perform Voice Dance II , I’ve Got the World on a String, Squeeze Me, Satin Doll, Everything, God Bless The Child, and Four Brothers.


“The CC Singers have worked extremely hard during each and every rehearsal,” said Donatelli. “We are ready to have a blast on each piece of music. I couldn’t be more proud of these kids and their accomplishments this semester!”


This semester both groups had the opportunity to perform at the Friends University Jazz Festival and the UNC/Greeley Colorado Jazz Festival.

“It has been an amazing semester and the students are so excited to perform in the Robert Brown Theatre and share their musical accomplishments on this final concert of the year,” Donatelli said.


During the groups’ recent trip to the UNC/Greeley Colorado Jazz Festival, eight members of the CC Singers and Jazz Band received “Outstanding Music Achievement” certificates for their individual solo performances. The students were, trombonist Michael Burley, Hunter DeWald, Lizzy Hampton, Andrew Horning, Abby Killman, Brenda Mattson, Abby Ronnfeldt, and Joey White.


“We are so proud of all of our jazz students,” Fleig said. “This year’s Greeley trip was very special. It was so great that so many of our students were recognized for their musicianship.”


Rounding out the evening will be a set by the Jazz Band which includes a variety of big band charts representing several jazz styles.

“We’re definitely going to swing,” Fleig said, “but we also have a Latin piece, a tremendous ballad, and a super fun New Orleans inspired chart. It will be a lot of fun!”


The Jazz Band’s set includes the following selections: Cutting Edge, Orange Sherbert, Blue Sesame, Here’s That Rainy Day, Blue Bossa, and March Majestic.


The Mary Beth Quintet who will perform a selection of jazz standards including Pennies From Heaven, My Funny Valentine, Alone Together, Sugar, and Georgia On My Mind. Joining Byers, who is a vocalist and trumpet player, will be guitarist Malachi Million, bassist Ben Decker, saxophonist Jerome Porter, and drummer Connor Siler.