The UI Lionel Hampton School of Music showcased diverse musical performances during Hamp’s Gala for the first day of the jazz festival.

The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival continued the tradition on Feb. 25, of the three-day event with concerts from a variety of student musicians. The performances included a classical guitar quartet, a solo pianist, the UI jazz choir and several other student music ensembles. UI’s School of Music faculty also spoke throughout the program on the preparation and presentation of Hamp’s Gala.

The Gala opened with UI’s Trumpet Ensemble performing Vandal Fanfare under the direction of Sean Butterfield. The performance stated it was originally filmed in fall 2019. The composition incorporated pieces of UI alma mater music.

Many of the recordings used were filmed in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The videos from the 2020-2021 academic year demonstrated the school of music’s ability to adapt by using barriers for horn players to maintain COVID-19 guidelines.

Vern Sielert, a faculty member director of jazz studies, lead the Jazz Band I ensemble in a Freddie Hubbard composition. The performance featured members solo improvising throughout the music. Sielert spoke before the recording and described the Lionel Hampton School of Music as a great place to work and faculty that is world-class.

Joshua Skinner, manager of the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, directed the UI String Orchestra. The recording was from fall 2020. The orchestra played a UI faculty original composition by Kate Skinner. The music piece was titled “No One is Listening.”

Skinner mentioned the recordings of the festival for archival footages. This year benefitted from this platform for Hamp’s Gala because of social distancing guidelines and festival happening over Zoom this year.

“We as a school of music of been continuing through the performing in the safest way possible,” Skinner said. “We’re going to see a lot of performances by the Lionel Hampton School of Music that have taken place this past year.”

Information on the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival can be found on the UI website.

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