Program of Study: Music
Academic Division: Communication Arts, Humanities and Fine Arts
Monday Night Jazz Ensemble
This award-winning big band, led by Dr. Michael Flack, presents about six concerts per year to a growing number of jazz aficionados. Open by audition, the ensemble features seasoned players, experienced teachers and professional musicians, who perform challenging jazz music and play with top visiting musicians. The Monday Night band has performed with internationally acclaimed trumpet virtuoso Allen Vizzutti, "Blues Brothers" band member Tom "Bones" Malone and many of the biggest names in jazz. As evidenced by its name, the group meets on Monday nights.
Tuesday Night Jazz Ensemble
Composed of CLC students and community members (ranging all the way from talented high school musicians through senior citizens), the Tuesday night band is the jazz program's outstanding "opening act" that doesn't sound like a warm-up act at all. Since 2007, the Tuesday Night band members have benefited from master trumpeter and director Dave Hibbard's many years of college teaching and vast professional experience, as he pushes the Tuesday Night band to new levels of quality and musical ability. Also evidenced by its name, the group rehearses on Tuesday nights. Hibbard also teaches private lessons at CLC.
The 60-member Wind Ensemble continues to grow in numbers as well as musical quality. Under the leadership of Dr. Flack, the Wind Ensemble performs four concerts per year. A recent concert included a variety of challenging works ranging from Wagner and Mendelssohn to modern composers such as Alfred Reed and Leroy Anderson. The group includes musicians from all walks of life, including CLC students, local high school music teachers and community members who enjoy the camaraderie of playing music at a high level. In 2005, members of the Wind Ensemble were invited to Italy to perform in an international band festival. In addition, the Wind Ensemble annually performs with guest conductors from prestigious university music programs and renowned guest artists. The Wind Ensemble rehearses on Thursday evening.
John Mose began conducting the Concert Band in fall 2008. The 40-member band performs a wide variety of music, and its members continue their musical growth on Wednesday evenings for 90 minutes of rehearsal and learning. Two public performances are given each school year, with music drawn from Sousa, Broadway, orchestral transcriptions and a number of world class band composers. The Concert Band is open to high school students, college students and community members without audition or prerequisite. John Mose also teaches private low brass students at CLC.
The CLC Jazz Combo, directed by Tim Barclay, is composed of CLC students learning the nuances of improvising and working together as a combo, the group meets on Thursday afternoons and performs jazz standards, blues, ballads and contemporary music.
Dr. Michael Flack
Dr. Michael Flack is chair of the music department and professor of music at CLC, where he directs the wind and jazz ensembles and teaches music theory. He holds a bachelor of music education degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and master's and doctoral degrees in instrumental conducting from Ball State University. His doctoral research focused on the effectiveness of play-along recordings for gaining proficiency in musical improvisation.
Conducting the CLC wind and jazz ensembles, Flack has worked with such distinguished musicians as Allen Vizzutti, Ernie Watts, Dick Oatts, Tom "Bones" Malone, Steve Cohen and Chuck Findley. In June of 2004, he and the CLC wind and jazz ensembles performed for and were guests of the city of Besana in Brianza, Italy, at the 12th edition of the Santa Cecilia International Band Festival near Milan. Dr. Flack performs on piano throughout the Chicago area and with the David Jennings Acoustic Ensemble. He was a soloist with the Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra during their October 2000 performance at the XIV Macau International Music Festival in China. In June 2007, he performed with Grammy®-nominated saxophonist Frank Catalano at the renowned Blue Note jazz club in Milan, Italy. He has recorded three CDs, "Eternity" (2006) with the David Jennings Acoustic Ensemble; "Swinging In The Windy City" (2002), featuring Buddy DeFranco with the John Burnett Swing Orchestra; and "Labor Of Love" (1999) with the Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra. Dr. Flack is a popular guest conductor, pianist, adjudicator, clinician and consultant, having served in these capacities throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
In addition to CLC's full-time performing arts faculty members, about 30 adjunct instructors serve as ensemble directors and classroom and private music lesson teachers. Adjunct faculty members teach a variety of subjects, including piano, introduction to music and music theory. Adjunct faculty members possess a wide range of excellent artistic and educational backgrounds, including experience as both professional performers and college-level teachers.
Aspiring artists are inspired to soar by observing, working with and emulating great artists. That's why CLC brings visiting artists to campus from the rich arts scene of the Chicago metropolitan area and from across the U.S. Such visiting artists come to perform and direct, teach master classes and share their knowledge of the performing arts. Often, too, these artists leave commenting on the professionalism and artistry of CLC's ensemble and performance groups who put their own creative stamp on performances and productions.
Just two visiting artists of note are these Grammy®-winning musicians:
- Ernie Watts, a tenor saxophonist and guest artist in 2005 who has been featured on more than 500 recordings by artists ranging from Thelonious Monk to Frank Zappa.
- Chuck Findley, a guest artist in 2007 who has played trumpet in more than 200 movie soundtracks and has performed with Branford Marsalis, the NBC "Tonight Show" band and the Buddy Rich Orchestra.
"I have performed several times with the CLC bands. I have found the musicianship with both the Wind Ensemble and the Jazz Band to be of very high musical quality. Both groups were extremely well rehearsed and were willing to do or change anything that I suggested at rehearsals. That is not found everywhere you go. I also found something somewhat different than I might find at a four-year school, and that is the musicians' happy attitude toward performing to the highest of their abilities. Realizing that many of these members are adults with fulltime jobs... that was refreshing. I also had the pleasure of going to Europe with the Wind Ensemble in 2005, which was a real treat. Not only did the ensemble perform to a high level, they were very well received by a diverse European audience."
— Larry McWilliams, trumpet professor emeritus, Ball State University, Muncie, Ind.
"The positive musical experience is alive and well at the College of Lake County. I thoroughly enjoyed performing as a soloist with varied ensembles there. Enthusiastic, knowledgeable professors and a diverse arts program make the College of Lake County a wonderful place to study."
— Allen Vizzutti, internationally known trumpet soloist and trumpet professor at University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.
For more information about CLC bands, contact:
Dr. Michael Flack
Phone: (847) 543-2566