The year 1917 was monumental in jazz history, but not just because it was the year of the first official jazz recording. Some of the most famous names in jazz were born that same year. These musicians would stand on the shoulders of their predecessors, helping to make jazz the most significant American cultural movement of the century. To celebrate their centennials, Pepper is featuring a few of the most iconic songs from these jazz legends.
The name Eric Whitacre is sure to turn heads anywhere musicians gather. While he is a composer of choral music first, his wide range of talents have enabled him to travel the world, writing music for different ensembles and performing with people from all walks of life.
Stylistically and culturally, jazz music has had an enormous impact on American music, influencing many of the most beloved musical minds of our time. In preparation for the 100th anniversary of the first jazz recording, Pepper has taken the time to ask many of the musicians we’ve interviewed about how jazz has influenced their lives. No matter what their preferred style, they all had something to say about the importance of jazz.
Jazz is widely considered the first purely American musical art form, and with good reason. Nothing epitomizes the nature of our nation quite as well. Jazz is a mixture of the many cultures that resided in the United States at the turn of the 20th century.
Mary Lynn Lightfoot’s musical life started in the town of Canton, Missouri, where she began taking piano lessons at the age of four. As she grew up, she often played the piano for her church when the organist was away over the summer. Music helped to shape her life through high school, where she continued learning in both the band and choir. By the time she graduated, she had become so proficient that she received an instrumental scholarship to Truman State University (formerly Northeast Missouri State) for French horn.
Concert season is right around the corner and, chances are, you have been preparing for it since your last concert ended. You spent the summer looking at repertoire and the fall teaching it to your students. Now, it is time to prepare for the big night. At Pepper, we pride ourselves on helping our customers in any way we can. With that in mind, we have compiled three blogs aimed at helping you with your final concert preparations.
In the simplest sense, buildings are just four walls and a roof meant to house people and objects. It is what you put inside that makes all the difference. Over time, J.W. Pepper & Son has moved in and out of many different buildings, depending on the needs of the company and its customers. No matter where Pepper employees are found, though, our dedication to service has always remained constant wherever we called home.
Look around your music room. Is anything missing? If your students are sitting cross-legged on the floor amidst piles of music, there might be some things you need. Even if they’re not, every music room needs furniture items like chairs, music cabinets, podiums and more.
Standing in the St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Hanover, Pennsylvania, it is not difficult to see how the beauty of religious devotion can inspire someone like Lloyd Larson to create such splendid choral pieces. Indeed, Larson considers himself a product of the church his family attended while growing up in Illinois.
The American centennial was an exciting time for the nation. Cities and towns bustled with new industry and a brighter outlook replaced the bleak days that followed the Civil War. The country was looking for new pastimes, and one of the most popular was community bands. American patriotic music was experiencing a revival, with band leaders like John Philip Sousa rising to prominence.