Foraging in the Forest: Student Projects at Drew

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By: Nina Campli, Assistant Editor of Student Life and Arts Photos Courtesy of: Marc Randall

For the last Foraging in the Forest of the semester, we head back to the Music Wing of the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts. Each year the Senior Music Majors present their Capstone projects to the Music department. Along with research, each student must have a performance aspect to present at the Capstone Festival. This year’s Capstone Festival takes place on Sunday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. and features two students, Ian Nadler (’18) and Marc Randall (’18). Randall, the bassist for the Drew University Jazz Ensemble, made his project a study about Charles Mingus on race relations in America, with a focus on the 1957 piece “Haitian Fight Song.”

Randall said, “I chose this topic because I wanted to study Charles Mingus’ works in order to become a more proficient bassist. As a result I learned about his music’s social and political significance.” He also said the research was not all that difficult. He started research in Rutgers Institute of Jazz studies. Using this research as a foundation he was able to find more in local libraries and through interlibrary loans. For his performance, he and the Drew University Jazz Ensemble will play “Haitian Fight Song.” Randall learned the bass part by ear over the winter break, and then when the spring semester began, the ensemble started rehearsing using the score Randall had ordered.

In the future Randall stated, “I hope to either conduct a student band or lead my own. In either case, I intend to teach and perform the tune professionally.”

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