Generations of musicians come together for jazz concert at NIC

Music is in Lane Sumner's blood. He knew that when he began experimenting as a violin and saxophone player in the third grade."There is nothing I would rather do than play music, " Sumner said. "I love playing multiple styles. When I'm on stage performing all the stress and problems of the world go away."

Sumner is a guitarist for the Rhythm Dawgs, a popular community band that he has played with for the past 18 years. He also plays with a smooth jazz group called the Smooth Tannins and the group is working on releasing its second CD.

But his true passion is teaching and through his involvement with the North Idaho College Jazz Ensemble Sumner gets to see firsthand the fruits of his labor.

Sumner has taught music for the past 17 years, 11 of which at Woodland Middle School, and many of his former students have gone on to play for various community bands. At NIC, Sumner is not standing in front of his former students, rather he sits beside them as a peer, as equal members of the NIC Jazz Ensemble.

"Playing with former students is the ultimate reward as a teacher, " Sumner said. "I have performed with dozens of former students over the years. When we perform together, it is no longer a student-teacher kind of relationship. It is just musicians working together. That is cool."

NIC Band Director Terry Jones said it is that combination of youth and experience that brings such quality to the NIC Jazz Ensemble.

"There is an energy in the band that flows through to our concerts, " Jones said. "We have a lot of fun, and because of that, the audience does as well."

The NIC Jazz Ensemble will team up with the vocal group Jazz Co. to provide a tribute to the music of Broadway during "Jazz on 42nd" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15.

The NIC Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jones, will feature various soloists in the performances of "Summertime" arranged by Bill Potts, Lennie Niehaus' arrangement of "Almost Like Being in Love" and Gordon Goodwin's "I Just Can't Wait to be King."

The Jazz Co. jazz choir directed by Max Mendez and will perform with the Jazz Ensemble and also break into small and large choirs for individual pieces.
Jazz Co. will perform "Getting to Know You" and "Something Wonderful" from the King and I as well as "One Hand, One Heart" from West Side Story.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in NIC's Boswell Hall Schuler Performing Arts Center. The performance is free and open to the public.

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