Four decades of Illinois Wesleyan jazz to
be celebrated with several alumni events
The School of Music is celebrating 40 years of jazz at Illinois Wesleyan with several
special events that also honor Professor Tom Streeter, who founded Wesleyan’s jazz
program and is retiring next year.
Professor of Music Tom Streeter
The events kick off with a Jazz Bands reunion at Homecoming 2010. At 9 p.m. Friday,
Oct. 8., alumni bands from each decade of Streeter’s career will perform at the Hansen
Student Center. The reunion bands will play again Saturday evening for a cocktail
reception preceding the reunion dinners at the Memorial Center’s Joslin Atrium. (Rehearsals
for the reunion bands’ performances will be held Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.)
The current IWU Jazz Ensemble, under Streeter’s direction and featuring guest alumni
soloists, will perform for after-dinner dancing.
“All former jazzers are encouraged to attend the Homecoming jazz reunion even it they
do not plan to play,” Streeter adds.
Guest soloists at the 36th Annual Jazz Festival on Jan. 22 will include Grammy-nominated
composer/trombonist Steve Wiest, who was a featured performer and arranger for the
Maynard Ferguson Band. Streeter launched the festival in 1976 to encourage junior
high and high school ensembles to upgrade the level of jazz they offer at their schools
by participating in a non-competitive festival that includes clinics with exceptional
jazz educators and performers from around the country.
During spring break in March 2011, Streeter is tentatively planning an extended tour
of the student Jazz Ensemble, including performances in New York City and Boston.
The yearlong celebration culminates in April. Charles Vernon, principal bass trombonist
for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, will give a master class at Illinois Wesleyan
on Thursday, April 14, and then perform that evening at the Bloomington Center for
the Performing Arts with the Illinois Wesleyan Civic Orchestra.
On Friday, April 15, Streeter estimates that “as many as 50 to 75” alumni trombonists
will return to campus for a special all-trombone concert at 7:30 p.m. at Westbrook
Auditorium in Presser Hall. A reception hosted by the IWU McLean County Alumni Association
will follow at 9 p.m. The alumni performing in this “trombone choir,” conducted by
Streeter, will rehearse for the performance earlier in the day.
Alumni who want to participate in or learn more about these events can contact the
Alumni Office at (309) 556-3251, toll-free (888) IWU-ALUM or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those wishing to participate in the trombone weekend event in April may contact Streeter
via e-mail at email@example.com, or by phone at (309) 556-3269. If you are on or live
en route to the East Coast and would like for the Jazz Ensemble to perform in your
area during its March tour, contact Streeter directly to see if you can be added to
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