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    Gabriella Ellingham

    This week’s Member Profile features saxophonist Gabriella Ellingham. She shared some of her thoughts about the program:

    How has the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band experience been so far?

    The band has been very inspirational.  I love the people, music and opportunities to meet and learn from professional musicians.

    What has been your favourite performance this year?

    The Randy Brecker concert was my favourite so far. It was an honour to be able to play with him in concert.

    The group has been coached by a number of guest clinicians this year. Is there a particular one that you really enjoyed?

    I have really enjoyed working with all the guest clinicians.  As a favourite I would choose Pat Labarbera because he had a lot of great ideas in our sax sectional as well as our full band rehearsal.  He is an amazing saxophone player, as well as a great teacher. Meeting all these professional players has really helped me become a better instrumentalist and a more critical listener of jazz.

    What upcoming event(s) are you looking forward to the most and why?

    I am really looking forward to the opportunity to take part in Music Festivals with the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band.  I love going to Jazz Festivals and it will be incredible to be in one with an amazing band and conductor.

    The Youth Big Band program is made possible by our generous donors and sponsors who strongly believe in the importance of arts education initiatives. If you had the opportunity to thank them in person, what would you say?

    I would thank them for their generous donations that allow this enriching opportunity to continue.  Many high school students have benefited from this experience, and I hope many more will. 

    How has your playing changed since you joined the Youth Big Band?

    Having the opportunity to learn from Jules and play with all the other youth in the band has really helped me advance my playing skills. It challenges me to play music I would not usually have the opportunity to play in a Big Band setting.

    What music are you listening to at the moment that you find particularly inspiring?

    Recently I have been listening to Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band.  What I find inspiring about their music is how many of the songs have parts that are very independent, and each player has to know and perform their part flawlessly.  Gordon Goodwin’s Band plays each piece brilliantly and I never get tired of listening to them.

    Do you have any plans for the summer?

    I am going to summer school in early July to get ahead in my course load.  I will be going back to IMC for two weeks this summer and I also hope to return to the Senior Band at the Kincardine Music Festival.

    Do you plan to audition for the group next year?

    I am loving JAZZFM91 Youth Big Band, so I will be auditioning again next year. I joined the music program at Humber College on Saturdays to give me more opportunity to practice and further develop my playing skills, especially in improvising.

    Lightning Round:

    Favourite musical artist:  Glenn Miller Orchestra

    Last live concert / show you attended:  K-W Big Band Theory at the Jazz Room in Waterloo

    Favourite TV show or movie: Lie To Me or One Upon A Time

    If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? I have always wanted to go to Costa Rica because it is where I was born, and I have not been back since I was two weeks old.  I am studying Spanish this year, and am so excited to actually be travelling there over March break this year, leaving the morning after our band plays at the Lula Lounge.

    Thank you to all of you who contributed during our Early Spring Campaign.

    You are the reason we are able to return to our award-winning programming.


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