A Taste of Jazz


Sean Lee

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

University of North Dakota


Some unusual music was made at the Loading Dock on Wednesday.

A mix of instrumental, vocal and even some animal noises entertained the large crowd, eager for a distraction from the unusual weather and looming finals week.

Audience members, an even mix of young and old, enjoyed a wide array of jazz repertoire. Hits such as Gershwin’s “‘S wonderful,” “Moondance,” and “Almost like being in love,” were played out by UND undergrads, accompanied by The Matt Strand Group, a local jazz ensemble.

“Tonight was fabulous,” said Louise Pinkerton, a vocal performance lecturer. “All the performances went beyond my expectations.”

Pinkerton’s students, mostly underclassmen, got a break from their typical routine. “[Classical music] is really ‘inside the box,’” said UND junior Jeremy Schmaltz. “Jazz is a break from that.”

Case in point – vocalist Emily Doll “quacking” on stage for “O Pato,” (“the duck.”) It’s a story about a duck quacking happily, attracting the attention of other animals him. So, in true musical fashion, the artist quacks happily like a duck.

... You had to be there.

“It was so nice not having to sing classical anymore!” said Doll.

Don’t let her fool you, Wednesday's concert took some serious work. “Preparation [for this concert] started at the beginning of the year.” A typical day as a music student means hours in class as well as in rehearsal, added Doll.

Remarkably, the ten students who preformed on Wednesday were doing it for fun – outside of Pinkerton’s classroom requirements. “It’s an extra opportunity to explore musicianship,” she added. “I hope it will open a few doors for some.”

Pinkerton hopes to keep jazz, as well as other alternative music, alive at UND. “We hope to do this every year,” she said. “I don’t know when something like this was done before.”

An encore presentation of the Matt Strand Group, featuring several UND students from Wednesday's performance will take place at 7 p.m. at ‘L Bistro (at the Canad Inn) on Thursday.