Composed of Lakeland students, amateur musicians and semi-professional players, the Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra features approximately 20 musicians. The traditional instrumentation consists of a full rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass and drums) five saxes, four trumpets, four trombone and the occasional singer.
Lakeland students and community members are encouraged to audition for the Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra.
WHO IS ELEGIBLE: All college students and community adults.
WHEN: In a typical fall or spring semester, the Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra rehearses every Wednesday evening from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Because of the pandemic, the jazz orchestra meets remotely on a weekly basis to develop a recorded performance.
WHERE: Typically, the jazz orchestra rehearses in the Fletcher Music Room, C-Building, Room C-1078. Because of the pandemic, all rehearsals and meetings occur online.
REQUIREMENTS: All performers must have sight-reading skills, have had prior ensemble performance experience, and be able to commit to Wednesday evening rehearsals and two to four performances during the academic year. The repertoire of this ensemble provides opportunities for improvisation, so experience as a soloist is a plus. Brass wind and woodwind musicians must own their own instruments.
CRITERIA: Acceptance into the Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra is by audition that takes place in August. Please contact Lakeland's Civic Jazz Director for more information.
INSTRUMENTS: The jazz orchestra welcomes all jazz style instruments including alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, trombone, trumpet, piano, guitar, bass and drums.
The Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra was organized in 1973 under the direction of Charles Frank to provide jazz performance opportunities for Lakeland Community College students and community musicians. In its remarkable history, the jazz orchestra has had five directors, countless musicians and the opportunity to perform at a wide variety of settings including the Ohio Music Education Association Conference in Cincinnati.
Following Charles Frank's departure to become the executive director of the Fine Arts Association, Dr. Dan McCarthy was added to the Lakeland Community College music faculty and became director of the Jazz Ensemble until 1991. Legendary Cleveland saxophonist Ernie Krivda took up the reigns in 1992 and continued to lead the group at concerts and the Jazz Festival. In 2002, Larry A. Smith, was appointed to lead the group and under Smith's direction, the Lakeland Jazz Orchestra performed at Lakeland's Jazz Festivals, at the Great Lakes Mall Holiday Concert Series, and at the Madison Jazz Festival in 2005. From 2008 through 2020, Director Dave Sterner led the group at the Ashtabula Jazz Festival, as well as, the Lakeland Jazz Festival and numerous themed Lakeland concerts.
Meet the Interim Director
Over the years, Edward G. Michaels has established himself as a strong voice in the field of music education and jazz saxophone. He is well-known for his leadership in directing the annual Lakeland Community College Jazz Festival (1999-2008); the Lakeland Summer Jazz Camp; and Lakeland's all-star high school jazz ensemble, and Lakeland's Jazz Impact.
Michaels earned his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Duquesne University, in his native town of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and a Master of Music from Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois, where he studied saxophone with the legendary Dr. Fred Hemke. He studied improvisation with Phil Rizzo, a clinician for the Stan Kenton Jazz Orchestra.
As a tenor saxophonist, Michaels is often heard performing with the top musicians of Northeast Ohio, among them, some of his former students. He has recorded a CD as leader, entitled "Going Beyond" on the Nice Jazz Label. The list of musicians with whom he has performed include Phil Woods, Donald Byrd, Pacquito D'Rivera, Bobby Sanabria and Clarence Clemons. His quartet has played extended engagements at the Century Room of Cleveland's prestigious Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the Grille Room of downtown Cleveland's Embassy Suites Hotel, Cleveland's Fat Fish Blue, and Club Isabella. Whatever the venue, he feels a strong commitment to promoting jazz and American music; and this can especially be seen in his love for both teaching and playing.
Michaels is also a full-time faculty member of the Willoughby-Eastlake School District where he teaches instrumental music, focusing especially on the district‘s beginning band program. Among his latest accomplishments in music education was receiving an honorarium and publication from the Cleveland Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for his music appreciation lesson plan, entitled "Timbre: Identifying the Tone Color of the Saxophone Using Pop/Rock Music Examples." He was also instrumental in helping his school district receive a grant from the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, which provided new percussion instruments for his Willowick Middle School students.