Sheridan, WYO (November 7, 2017) – The Whitney Center Jazz Orchestra (WCJO) debuts at the Whitney Center for the Arts (WCA) at Sheridan College Friday, November 17 at 7 p.m. This inaugural performance is part of the 100th anniversary celebration of Edward A. Whitney.

The WCJO is an all-professional big band with 19 members and is directed by Sheridan College’s own Dr. Eric Richards. “The Whitney Center Jazz Orchestra will honor the great American Big Band tradition through performance of important repertoire and new compositions, arrangements and improvisations at the highest professional standard,” said Richards. “Audiences will hear new arrangements of jazz standards and songs from the Great American Songbook, as well as a number of contemporary works by acclaimed regional musicians.”

John Harbaugh will lead the ensemble on first trumpet in works by Billy Strayhorn, Thad Jones, Bobby McFerrin, Harold Arlen, and more. Harbaugh has performed with artists like Tom Jones, Mel Torme, Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Newhart, Woody Herman, Clark Terry, Freddie Hubbard, Bob Hope, Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, and Lionel Hampton, just to name a few. Today, he can be heard as a jazz soloist with the London Symphony and has been involved in three Grammy nominated productions and one Dove award winning recording.

“The Whitney Center Jazz Orchestra was made possible by the Whitney Foundation, and the greater Sheridan community, which loves and supports the arts at the highest levels,” said Erin Hanke, director of the WCA. “We know that Sheridan appreciates big, bold professional performances — and the WCJO is going to deliver that in spades.”

Sheridan College now has two professional ensembles in residence: Whitney Center Jazz Orchestra and Wyoming Baroque. Both are led by Sheridan College faculty but bring in professional artists from all over the world who not only perform with the ensemble but also work regularly with Sheridan College students. Both ensembles plan to tour the western U.S.  Learn more and get tickets at WhitneyArts.org.

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