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During a December concert, Lafayette Jazz Ensemble performed “Philly Cheese,” a new composition by Tom DiGiovanni '96, pep band and brass ensemble director and former ensemble member.

DiGiovanni, a music and computer science major, played piano in the jazz ensemble when he was at Lafayette and in a jazz trio that still performs in the area. After completing a master's in orchestral conducting at Queens College, he returned to Lafayette in 1997 as director of the pep band.

The program included big band chestnuts like “Wind Machine” and “Whirlybird,” both recorded by the Count Basie Orchestra, as well as contemporary arrangements like “Samba del Gringo” by Gordon Goodwin and “Freak of the Week,” arranged by Phil Woods. Ashley Maida '05 sang Frank Mamtooth's “One for Monterey.”

“This is the first time we had a student vocalist sing with the band in 11 years,” says Ken Brader, ensemble director. “The program was one of our most challenging to date.”

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles