Sheridan College’s Whitney Center for the Arts is introducing its first jazz orchestra with a concert on Friday, November 17.
The Whitney Center Jazz Orchestra is a 19-piece big band made up of professionals and music faculty from around Wyoming. Director Eric Richards says the orchestra will serve as a house band for the Whitney Center.
It will play once or twice a year in Sheridan and eventually tour Wyoming and surrounding states.
“I’m hoping that once we get traction and we get the band established we’ll be able to play at some of the other colleges in Wyoming and Montana and perhaps appear at some of the jazz festivals that take place at some of the other colleges in the state,” said Richards.
The idea for the orchestra began a year ago when Richards called on colleagues from around the state to form the orchestra.
“There’s an amazing degree of talent in the Wyoming, Montana region,” he said. “So it’s really a collection of top-flight professionals and educators from the region.”
The concert takes place at the Whitney Center for the Arts in Sheridan at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. It will also commemorate the life of Edward A. Whitney, the center’s namesake. Whitney was a major arts supporter in the Sheridan community, and Richards says one of the pieces he composed for the concert will be dedicated in honor of the 100-year anniversary of Whitney’s passing.