The Jazz Ensembles of Mount Holyoke College will travel back to the 1940s for their eighth—and all-new—annual presentation of The Big Broadcast! on Sunday, March 10, at 2 pm and 7 pm in Mary Woolley Hall’s Chapin Auditorium.
Mount Holyoke director of jazz ensembles Mark Gionfriddo originally created The Big Broadcast! for a small cabaret group he directed, and incorporated it into the concert season at MHC.
“Students and I researched live radio broadcasts of the 1940s: the big band swing music, the radio serials, and the commercials of the day,” said Gionfriddo. “We incorporated all of these elements into our production to give the audience the feel of an authentic radio variety program on a fictitious station named WJAZ.”
Gionfriddo, as WJAZ maestro “Matt Morgan,” directs the Mount Holyoke Big Band, Vocal Jazz, and Chamber Jazz Ensembles, who will perform well-known tunes from the swing era, including music by Irving Berlin, the Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, George Gershwin, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa and Harry James, and others.
WWLP-22 meteorologist Brian Lapis returns to The Big Broadcast! for his sixth season as WJAZ announcer and emcee “Fred Kelley.”
Cheryl Cobb, MHC lecturer in music, will reprise her role as a sound effects artist. The producers are Ella Holmes ’16, Melanie Stuart ’14, Justine Marks ’14, and Emily Moner ’13. Moner and Stuart also serve the ensembles as coordinators of the vocal and instrumental jazz groups.
Tickets are $20 for premium front and center seating, $15 for regular seating, and $10 for seniors and students. Tickets are available at the Odyssey Bookshop in the Village Commons and at the Northampton Box Office. Tickets may also be orderedonline or by calling 413-586-8686 or -1-800-THE-TICK. Tickets will also be sold at the door one hour before each performance, subject to availability.
A portion of the proceeds from this year’s show will benefit the Holyoke Rotary Club’s Literacy Programs. Each year, Rotarians distribute dictionaries to every third-grade student in Holyoke, Granby, and South Hadley. The club, in partnership with the Holyoke Public Library and the Holyoke Public Schools, is also developing a summer reading program to reduce summer learning loss.The Big Broadcast! sponsors include MHC, Baystate Health, The Republican/MassLive, and New England Public Radio, WWLP-TV22, Loomis Communities, and Applewood/Amherst.
Sponsor:The Big Broadcast! sponsors include MHC, Baystate Health, The Republican/MassLive, and New England Public Radio, WWLP-TV22, Loomis Communities, and Applewood/Amherst.