MHC Jazz Ensembles Present The
Big Broadcast! March 12
March 7, 2006
March 12, Chapin Auditorium at Mount Holyoke College will transform
into the fictitious radio station WJAZ, circa
1940. At 2 pm, the Jazz Ensembles of Mount Holyoke College, under
the direction of Mark Gionfriddo, will present a radio variety
show typical of its day. The Big Broadcast! will feature
popular tunes from the era, including music by Glenn Miller,
and Benny Goodman. Commercials will be re-created as they were
originally heard, and there will even be a "Western adventure,"
written by the students. All of this will be done in full theatrical
fashion, with characters, costumes, makeup, lights, and sound.
Dan Elias, WWLP 22 news anchor, will be the announcer for the
director of jazz ensembles and Catholic music director and instructor
at Mount Holyoke, has re-created historically
radio shows in the past with a cabaret group he directed about
16 years ago. "I have wanted to tackle such a production
here at MHC for some time. Students in the music department are
experiencing a growing interest in musical theatre, and I felt
that our jazz performance program had progressed to the level at
which we could finally attempt it," Gionfriddo said.
for the event began during January Term, when Gionfriddo taught
a class about the aspects of putting such a show together.
The class watched period movies, listened to transcripts of actual
broadcasts, and researched everything from hairstyles to commercials
of the day. Gionfriddo also wrote a station ID jingle and transcribed
musical arrangements and incidental pieces to further capture the
flavor of the typical 1940s radio show.
'06, president of Vocal Jazz, is the production manager of the
I have seen many impressive concerts come and go, this one will
trump them all," she said. "This
project has been such an exciting process; Mark has generously
allowed me involvement in everything from the audition process
to the stage setting to the costuming. And now I can't wait to
bring it to life on stage. This will truly be a memorable show
and probably the highlight of my four years in Vocal Jazz."
for the performance are $5 for general admission and $3 for students
and senior citizens and are available through March
10 at the music department in Pratt Hall or by calling (413)
538-2306. Tickets will also be sold at the door the day of the
Big Broadcast! - Photo Gallery