Three students from West Virginia University in February participated in The Mid Atlantic Collegiate Jazz Orchestra.
MACJO is the premier performing and networking honor group for select collegiate jazz musicians in the Mid-Atlantic region. MACJO was founded in 2009 as an initiative of the Cumberland Jazz Society.
“The Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Jazz Orchestra provided our students an opportunity to be surrounded by other talented and like-minded students from other universities,” said Jared Sims, WVU’s director of Jazz. “It is a great achievement to be selected to this regional ensemble and having WVU students included underscores the level of musicianship that is happening at WVU.
“Our jazz students' abilities are bringing WVU regional and national attention and this is experience that put our students in rehearsals and performance with Terell Stafford, a luminary in the world of jazz. They got first-hand experience in putting a concert together with a really great ensemble with minimal rehearsal time. It is meaningful to their careers in terms of the networking that they did, the ideas they shared with students from other programs and the personal and musical connections that they made.”
WVU students Michael Jones, Owen Boachie and Michael Derrico were selected for MACJO. Lars Swanson and Grant Adams were selected as alternates for the event.
“Performing with people who push you to play beyond your limits is one of the greatest joys a musician can experience,” Jones said. “Considering the friendships gained and the quality of musical experience together, MACJO was a stunningly successful vehicle to provide further opportunity for me in the future, while also helping to give the necessary experience to meet that opportunity head on and thrive.”