Edmonds Community College offering new music degree, community concert band

Music, a flagship program at Edmonds Community College, is adding some new notes this fall.

The college has long been known for jazz music, including its select vocal choir Soundsation. It also has a unique two-year transfer degree in Digital Music and a digital recording studio. And in recent years, a spring student performance — Musaic — featuring digital music and experimental multimedia acts has gained popularity.

The college announced Thursday is is adding a two-year Associate of Arts with a music emphasis this fall that will transfer to four-year Schools of Music and a community Concert Band.

“Most Schools of Music require large ensemble experience and until now we’ve only had opportunities for vocalists,” said music department chair John Sanders. “The Concert Band will be a much needed addition for instrumentalists and it will be a great opportunity for local musicians — woodwinds, brass, and percussionists.”

Sanders, who has been directing the college’s jazz band as well as teaching a variety of classes, will now focus on music theory. The college’s music theory lab has been updated with new Mac computers and a document camera that roves over the grand piano keyboard, zooms in and out, and swivels to focus on notes on the whiteboard or on the keys.

“Now the students can see my hands on the keyboard as we do piano exercises and lessons. It’s a great teaching tool and it looks very cool,” Sanders said.

Well-known directors David Marriott and Bill Park will join the college. Marriott will take over the Jazz Band and will teach individual trombone lessons. Park will direct the new Concert Band.

The Concert Band, open to the community, will rehearse 7-9 p.m., Mondays this fall. To join the band, email john.sanders@edcc.edu. Band members must register for Concert Band, MUSC 189, at the college.

More performances by the college’s musicians, including a fall faculty recital, will be featured in the Black Box Theatre in 2011-12, said theatre director Jen Matthews.

“We have so many world-class, professional musicians teaching at the college,” said Sanders. “We’re looking forward to featuring them this fall.”

Before the addition of the pro-quality recording studio in 2006, purchased with a grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and matched by students and the Edmonds Community College Foundation, the last big expansion of the college’s music program came in with the opening of Mill Creek Hall, a dedicated space for music instruction on campus, in 2000.

For more information about fall music classes at Edmonds Community College, call 425-640-1650 or go to www.edcc.edu/music. Fall quarter runs Sept. 20-Dec. 9. Students are encouraged to register early for fall quarter classes to avoid finding full classes or classes canceled due to low enrollment this fall.

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