Music major Stanley Hall used his cameo appearance with the U.S. Army’s Jazz Ambassadors to showcase his virtuoso talent on the saxophone Oct. 30.
His solo garnered generous applause during the performance on campus before a sold-out crowd of more that 1,000.
The Jazz Ambassadors began the night with their signature big band style.
They played songs ranging from originals written by previous and current band members to songs like “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” made famous by Roberta Flack.
Hall joined the band to perform one song toward the end of the show.
Sgt. Maj. Michael Buckley, one of the leaders of the band, said he enjoyed Hall’s performance.
“He played with a lot of passion and energy,” Buckley said.
“We’re committed to jazz education so it was a pleasure having him sit in with us.”
Hall said it was a great experience.
“It was awesome performing with them,” Hall said.
“It was really nice to play with a big band that could actually play a chart. It was something I really haven’t had a chance to do.”
Hall said although big band is not the direction he is planning to take with his music career, he truly enjoyed and valued the opportunity.
“[It was] really humbling to walk out and then have all the people greet me and say I did an awesome job,” he said.
Music Professor Michael Boyle recommended Hall to perform with the band.
Given that the Jazz Ambassadors play with a limited number of instruments, Boyle said, he had to recommend someone who could play a saxophone, trumpet or trombone.
“[Stanley] was just perfect for it,” Boyle said. “He’s a good reader and a good improviser, and those are the two things you need to play a performance.”
Boyle said the song Hall played, “Mr. Timmons,” was a tribute to the late, great jazz pianist Bobby Timmons.
Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Lopez recently composed the tune.
Boyle said he got the music from the Jazz Ambassadors on Monday and gave it to Hall to practice. Hall performed the piece on Thursday evening without a rehearsal.