Music students learn from experts

November 19, 2012 Latest Print Print

Vocal jazz band The Four Freshmen made an afternoon appearance, holding a Master Class Nov. 13 in the Visual and Performing Arts Center Choir Room, before their Cultural Arts Series performance later that evening. The class offered music students a chance to get inspiration and feedback from the professionals.

The Four Freshmen is comprised of Bob Ferreira singing bass and playing drums, percussion, and music stands; Curtis Calderon signing second tenor and playing brass; Vince Johnson singing third voice and playing bass; and Brian Eichenberger singing top vocal while playing guitar.

During the class, the men performed a couple of songs and answered questions from the audience, made up of students, faculty and staff.


Music Professor Cheryl Taylor said the class was beneficial to her students, many of whom wonder if they’ll be able to make a successful career as professional musicians. All four band members said it’s achievable, pointing out that they all make a living at being full-time musicians.

During the class, the OCCC Jazz Vocals group performed two songs for the group to critique. Right away, the student singers were complimented on their sound by the professionals.

Ferreira said he was surprised to find out the group is only able to practice together once a week in class.

More important than compliments were critiques for improvement and they came too. Ferreira said the group should use vibrato sparingly for a more resonant sound. They also got some advice on improving their scat skills from Calderon and Eichenberger.

The student group tried the suggestions right away by redoing parts of songs with an immediate improvement noted.

To contact Chris James, email

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