UMass Students Perform as Part of Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Jazz Orchestra Concert

From left to right: Matt Naeger, Terrell Stafford, Ben Powell, Coleman Hovey and Jacob Kaplan
Students pose with jazz musician Terrell Stafford. From left to right: Matt Naeger, Terrell Stafford, Ben Powell, Coleman Hovey and Jacob Kaplan

Matt Naeger, a senior trumpet major, recently performed as part of this year’s Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Jazz Orchestra (MACJO) in Rockville, MD. Seniors Jacob Kaplan, saxophone; Ben Powell; guitar, as well as freshman Coleman Hovey, piano, were also chosen to perform on selected pieces at this prestigious event.

The Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Jazz Orchestra is a highly competitive annual event, regarded as the premier performing and networking honor group for select collegiate jazz musicians in the Mid-Atlantic region. Naeger credits professor Jeffrey Holmes for encouraging him to submit recordings of his work.

“It was a huge honor to have been selected as part of the band,” says Naeger. “Working with jazz star Terell Stafford and all the other students in the band was an absolute pleasure. I learned a lot from all of them and grew as a musician because of it. Playing in the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Jazz Orchestra was a very rewarding experience.”

The purpose of the group is to provide aspiring collegiate musicians the opportunity to perform and network as a member of a premier collegiate jazz orchestra while contributing to the development of jazz audiences throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. Led by Holmes, the UMass Jazz and African-American Music Studies program has had numerous students selected to perform at MACJO in recent years.

You can watch Naeger, Kaplan, Powell and Hover perform at 39th annual UMass Jazz Showcase on Thursday, Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m. in the Bowker Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for general public, $5 for students, seniors and children younger than 18 and free for UMass students with a valid UCard. Tickets may be purchased at the Fine Arts Center Box Office, by phone at 413-545-2511 or online.