The Conservatory, a music & community arts school, based in Doylestown, Bucks County, presents a concert of holiday popular music, performed in a jazz style. A band comprised of both professional jazz performers and student musicians takes the stage at The Underground, on Sunday afternoon, December 9, 2018.
The students involved in the show are all members of one of the three Jazz Ensembles which keyboard player Bill Gottshall and sax player Jonathan Lucas direct at The Conservatory. Gottshall is a frequent performer at The Underground, appearing both with jazz groups and classic rock bands. Lucas performs as a freelance musician in theaters such as The Arden Theater, small and large group jazz settings with some of Philly’s finest jazz musicians, as well as other musical ensembles on piccolo, flute, clarinet, and saxophones. Gottshall and Lucas will be joined onstage by fellow Conservatory instructor Wolfgang Bauscher, a versatile musician who performs all over the Delaware Valley. He is a regular performer at several local jazz venues, especially in the Doylestown area. In addition to playing trumpet in jazz settings, Bauscher plays French horn in many classical ensembles.
The Conservatory’s Jazz Showcase format provides a unique type of mentoring for student musicians. Instructor and student stand shoulder-to-shoulder, performing jazz in an actual nightclub environment. This provides support for the young musician while letting him/her experience the interplay of improvisation that takes place in a jazz band. “Learning how to improvise is always the biggest hurdle for the young jazz musician,” says Gottshall. “Improv is the lifeblood of jazz, but it takes a very long time to feel comfortable doing it. There’s always the fear of losing your place in the music. When it’s an all-student band, kids will feel worried and nervous, so they’ll hold back and play it safe. This way, the adults onstage always have their back!”
The Jazz Showcase begins at 2:00 PM and will run about one hour. Tickets are $8.00 per person and are available both online and at the door. It will be an all-holiday music event, with some sing-alongs and numbers performed especially for children. The Underground is an all-ages club. Children are welcome and encouraged to attend, as long as they are accompanied and supervised by an adult.
The Conservatory is a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides free and subsidized programs to disadvantaged youth, persons with disabilities, and senior citizens. It depends upon generous donations and grants from individuals, corporations, and foundations to make certain that the arts are accessible to everyone.
On November 17th, four students from the Conservatory, along with Bill Gottshall, sat down with the Original Slacker Podcast presented by Round Guys Brewing Company’s host, Bill McGeeney. Hear a special liver version of these talented eighth graders perform a teaser, “the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”