University Relations and Communications

Jazz ensemble heats up chilly December day

December 4, 2009



Department of Music, 657-2350
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


Free concert presented Tuesday, Dec. 8 at noon


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Anyone looking for a little holiday warmth next week can find plenty with some hot jazz served up by the Montana State University Billings jazz ensemble with a special lunch-hour concert. 


The ensemble, directed by Jim Robertson, will present its fall semester concert on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 12:20 p.m. in the dining facility at the MSU Billing Student Union Building. The concert is free and the public is invited to attend.


The concert will include “Strollin’ with Sammy” by Paul Baker; “Shiny Stockings” by Frank Foster; “ Now’s the Time” by Charlie Parker; “The Chant”  by Victor  Feldman; “Nardis” by Miles Davis; “A Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Freddy Mercury; and “A Band’s Gotta Do What a Band’s Gotta Do” by Paul Clark.


Featured soloists will include alto saxophonist Jenae Murphy; baritone saxophonist Mary Ryan; pianists Alyssa Conard and Dr. Jimmy Gray; trumpeters Mark Fenderson and Adam Wetzel;  trombonists Chris Harper and Mike Kemper; bassist Elliott Cross; and guitarist Ron Dorado.     


Following are the members of the MSU Billings jazz ensemble, their home towns and their majors:

  • Elliot Cross, bass, of Glendive, is a music education major
  • Alyssa Conard, piano, of Shepherd, is a psychology major
  • Ron Dorado, guitar, from Billings, is a music education major
  • Ethan Gray, set and percussion, of Billings, is a percussion performance major
  • Dr. Jimmy Gray, piano, of Billings, is a local musician and emergency room physician
  • Chris Harper, trombone, is from Billings and is a music education major
  • Mike Kemper, trombone, from Roundup, is an elementary education major
  • Jenay Murphy, alto sax, of Glendive, is a music education major
  • Mary Ryan, baritone sax, from Laurel, is a music education major
  • Michael Spence, set and percussion, from Shepherd, is a health and human performance major
  • Kirk Visser, trombone, from Shepherd, is a music education major
  • Cody Wahrman, tenor sax, from Townsend, is a music education major
  • Melody Wittman, trumpet, from Worden, is a pre-nursing major
  • Adam Wetzel, trumpet, of Billings, is a music education major

MSU Billings faculty members who will play with the Jazz Ensemble are:

  • Dr. Gary Behm, Alto Sax
  • Dr. Mark Fenderson, Trumpet
  • Dr. Jim Robertson, Trombone

For more information, please call the MSU Billings Music Department at 657-2350.