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2006.10.20 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Fitzgerald - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.3536 - email: tfitzgerald@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO to Host Big Band Artist-in-Residence Nov. 8-9

Omaha - The Department of Music at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will sponsor an artist-in-residence program featuring the Jim Widner Big Band Nov. 8-9. The residency will include a concert and series of free clinics aimed at college and high school music students and teachers.

The Jim Widner Big Band will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom. Prior to the concert, members of the band will hold an improvisation clinic for UNO students while Widner works with the Metropolitan Area Youth Jazz Orchestra (MAYJO), an auditioned group made up of Omaha’s finest high school musicians. MAYJO is directed by Darren Pettit, an instructor of saxophone at UNO.

On Thursday, Nov. 9, Widner and members of his band will give instrument masterclasses for UNO music students. The masterclasses will begin at 9 a.m. and are free and open to the public.

An alumnus of the Stan Kenton, Woody Herman and Glenn Miller Big Bands, Widner is a graduate of the University of Missouri and holds a master’s degree from Memphis State University. He has performed with a variety of well-known artists, including Clark Terry, Louis Bellson and Marilyn Maye, and has appeared before former President Bill Clinton. Currently, Widner is artist-in-residence/director of jazz studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

“The Jim Widner Big Band is one of only a handful of professional big bands that actively records, performs and tours throughout the country,” said Pete Madsen, coordinator of jazz studies at UNO. “The purpose of his visit to UNO is to support jazz and jazz education by providing the opportunity for the campus community and the public to attend a professional jazz concert. The concert and clinics will give students a learning opportunity outside of the traditional classroom.”

Tickets for the concert are $15 for the general public and $10 for students. For more information about the clinics, contact Pete Madsen at (402) 554-2297. To order tickets, call (402) 554-3427.

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