The Big Broadcast!

The BIg Broadcast!

Created and directed by Mount Holyoke College music faculty member Mark Gionfriddo, "The Big Broadcast!" is a re-creation of a live 1940's radio variety show featuring the Jazz Ensembles (Big Band Jazz, Vocal Jazz, and Chamber Jazz) performing well-known tunes and hidden gems from the swing era and the American Popular Songbook. For the last thirteen years, the show has been emceed by Brian Lapis (WWLP-TV22 meteorologist) in the role of host "Fred Kelley", while Gionfriddo appears as bandleader “Matt Morgan”. To get an inside look into the production process, we have a collection of Big Broadcast! videos.

The annual performance project is rather unusual due to its production elements. Several ensemble members serve as associate producers and assist Gionfriddo in writing the script, which include Lapis's intros and a newscast as well as an original radio play for the second act. Commercials for authentic products are interspersed throughout, and the theatrical event is performed in period dress, hair and makeup. The result is an entertaining and historically accurate concert event that has fascinated both students and the surrounding community for fifteen years.

Interviews with Big Broadcast! director and students.

A peek behind the scenes, into the choreography, performers, costuming and other details of the production.

The Big Broadcast

2018: The 13th Annual Big Broadcast!

On March 3rd the Mount Holyoke Big Band, Vocal Jazz, and Chamber Jazz Ensembles perform well-known tunes from the swing era.
Singers from the 2013 "Big Broadcast!”  Photo by Olivia Lammel ’14

2017 The Big Broadcast!

The Jazz Ensembles under the direction of Mark Gionfriddo bring this local classic back to Chapin on Sunday, March 5 for two fantastic shows!
Old radio microphone with light yellow and orange spiral background.

2016 Big Broadcast

The 11th anniversary performance.
Singers in the 2013 "The Big Broadcast!”  Photo by Olivia Lammel ’14

2015 Big Broadcast

The MHC Jazz Ensembles will present a swing-era radio show with vintage commercials, news, clothing, hairstyles, and vocal and instrumental jazz favorites.

2014 Big Broadcast

Big Band, Vocal Jazz, and Chamber Jazz Ensembles perform well-known swing era tunes in this 1940s-radio-show-style presentation (Video).