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After four years of study and practice, music major Jack Furlong ’05 (Hopewell, N.J) is culminating his time at Lafayette with a run of four jazz concerts that began Wednesday and will end Friday, May 6. All performances are free and open to the public.

His first performance took place with the Jazz Combo Wednesday at Williams Center for the Arts room 123. The musicians were Furlong, baritone saxophone and flute; Eli Wolkoff ’07 (South Orange, N.J.), alto saxophone; Viktorija Gecyte ’08 (Vilnius, Lithuania), vocals; economics and business major Dan Rosenblum ’06 (Needham, Mass.), guitar; English and music double major Sean Comerford ’06 (Manhasset, N.Y.), bass; and John O’Keefe ’96, drums.

“At the Jazz Combo recital, people can expect standards and other jazz classics to be performed in a small context,” said Furlong before the performance. “We’ve arranged some well known standards and classics to be performed by the group, ranging from the greats of Lee Morgan all the way to modern music. Our guitarist Dan Rosenblum will even be featured on a song he picked written by Johnny A, a modern-day guitarist.”

Sponsored by Haven, the Jack Furlong Quartet will perform 9:30 p.m. Friday in the Farinon Center snack bar. Furlong will play baritone saxophone and flute. Other band members are David Voorhees, guitar; Andrew Kosek, bass; and John D’Angelo, drums. Furlong says audience members can expect songs from the group’s repertoire and “a more realistic jazz club atmosphere.”

Furlong will present his music in a recital 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, in Williams Center for the Arts room 123. The lineup will have Furlong on baritone saxophone; Larry Stockton, professor and head of music, on vibraphone; Skip Wilkins, assistant professor of music, on piano; Comerford on bass; and O’Keefe on drums.

“At my recital, people can expect a lot of my original works and the stories behind them, as well as experiencing how various different musical elements have influenced me over the four years here,” he says. “We’ll be performing four of my originals along with two of my favorite classics. And with an ensemble like this, it’s sure to be a blast!”

His last performance is with the Jazz Ensemble 8 p.m. Friday, May 8, on the Williams Center for the Arts main stage. Performers include Gecyte, Comerford, Jon Glick ’05 (Hamden, Conn.), Greg Martin ’08 (Chappaqua, N.Y.), Kara Boodakian ’07 (Winchester, Mass.), Dave Myers ’07 (Rockville Centre, N.Y.), David Glasser ’06 (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Tim Zirkel ’08 (Honey Brook, Pa.), Trustee Scholar Mike Nilson ’05 (Wantagh, N.Y.), Marquis Scholars Rob McEwen ’05 (Morgantown, Pa.) and Mike Werner ’07 (Neenah, Wis.), and guest trombonist Jim Pugh.

Musical selections include Furlong’s senior project and big band music that spans many eras. Stockton served as primary adviser for Furlong’s senior project, in which he composed an original big band chart called “Skip Stocking Your Melins” as a tribute to Wilkins, Stockton, and William Melin, professor of music.

“The song jumps back and forth between a Latin and shuffle feel, but what sets it apart as really being original was the interlude in the middle of the tune,” says Furlong. “I needed something to put a smile on the face of those who know what I’m writing about musically, so I put a section in the middle of my chart that symbolizes the fact that no matter what class I am in here at Lafayette, specifically that of Dr. Melin, I am guaranteed to fall asleep. After eight semesters here, I don’t think there was one class I took that I didn’t fall asleep in or come close to at least once.”

Furlong says he has formed strong relationships with the professors and staff, but more importantly, he believes that everyone in the music department is focused on exposing students to great music.

“I have never met a faculty who are so professional at what they do, yet are so caring about trying to get their students to learn and experience,” he says. “And that spans all faculty, not just music people.

“The relationships I’ve developed with the faculty and staff have been tremendous, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. It could be as small as the jokes I share with guitar teacher Frank Flandorffer, especially since I don’t play guitar, to as large as searching for career options with Dr. Stockton, to as special and comforting as knowing that Bonnie Robbins [art and music secretary] is like my mother away from my mother. It’s just such a warm feeling to know that so many people are for you and on your side.”

In addition to fulfilling his musical interests, Furlong is a member of Haven. At this year’s Honors Convocation, he received the John D. Raymond Music Award, awarded annually by music department to one or more deserving students.

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