Amidst all of the weirdness and insanity surrounding what appears to be the end of Wayne Watson's tenure as president of CSU, faculty and students have continued to focus on the real mission of CSU -- teaching, learning, scholarship, science, art -- what the overwhelming majority of those associated with the university do on a day-to-day basis. Occasionally, some faculty and students bring that activity outside the boundaries of the university itself, as was the case today with the CSU Vocal Jazz Ensemble.
In the downtown offices of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), a Federal government agency, the CSU Vocal Jazz Ensemble performed a 45-minute program to celebrate Black History Month. The performance included 10 songs, and Director and CSU faculty member Deborah Williams gave a brief history of each song prior to the ensemble's performance. This performance, by the way, was also broadcast to the CFTC's headquarters in Washington, DC and the other regional CFTC offices in Kansas City and New York City.
So, while all of our local media has been focusing on the drama around the (hopefully soon to be ex-) president Watson, attention has been drawn away from those who represent what CSU should be known for in Chicago and across the country. At least some federal government workers heard first hand what professors and students at CSU do. Congratulations to the CSU Vocal Jazz Ensemble for representing what the university is and should be.
Here's the full program performed:
"Royal Garden Blues" (Clarence Williams & Spencer Williams, 1919; arr. Mark Burnell)
"Ain't Misbehavin" (Fats Waller, 1929)
"Moonglow" (Will Hudson, Eddie de lange, Irving Mills, 1934; arr. Teena Chinn)
"Summertime" (George Gershwin, 1935)
"At Last" (Mack Grodon & Harry Warren, 1941)
"When I Fall in Love" (Victor Young, 1952)
"Shiny Stockings" (Frank Foster, 1955; arr. Mark Burnell)
"Imagination" (James Van Heusen, 1959)
"Sweet Love" (Anita Baker, Louis Johnson, & Gary Bias, 1986)
"Birdland" (Joe Zawinul & Jon Hendricks, 1978)
Congratulations to the all of the members of the ensemble, including vocal soloists Mitchell Harris, Porald Harris, Shanavia Doyle, Faith Howard, Bradley Jenks, and Lisa Medlock, as well as Willie Jones, piano & David Flowers, bass. You should be the face of CSU, not Wayne Watson.