The Big Broadcast!
"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.
The annual performance project is rather unusual due to its production elements. Several ensemble members serve as associate producers and assist in writing the script, which include the emcee 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.
The Big Broadcast was created and directed by Mount Holyoke College music faculty member Mark Gionfriddo. 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”.
The Big Broadcast through the years
In a return to live performance for the MHC community, Former 22News anchor Brenda Garton-Sjoberg makes her debut as emcee “Julie Graham" while MHC's Mark Gionfriddo appears as bandleader “Matt Morgan”. This concert was also streamed to the general public.
A slimmed down version of the 1940's radio show performance suitable for pandemic times. This concert was presented free of charge for the first time.
This year marks the 15th edition! Mount Holyoke alum, bassist and singer Caitlin Jaene Mercer '02 will join the ensembles as a special guest.
To mark the 80th anniversary of a performance by The Glenn Miller Orchestra at MHC, Big Broadcast 2019 featured some music made famous by Glenn Miller.
The Mount Holyoke Big Band, Vocal Jazz, and Chamber Jazz Ensembles perform well-known tunes from the swing era.
The Mount Holyoke College Jazz Ensembles present their annual tribute to the 1940s radio show that has become a local classic! With special guest Channel 22’s Brian Lapis. Mark Gionfriddo directs.