Live Music Returns to West Chester University with Criterions Jazz Ensemble’s Alumni Concert
Free, Public Concert Takes Place Thursday, July 15
Live music is back at West Chester University when an annual tradition returns. Alumni of the Wells School of Music’s Criterions Jazz Ensemble, who typically gather in July for a reunion and free public concert but skipped last year due to the COVID pandemic, will once again take the stage to perform jazz, swing and big band music. The concert is free and open to the public on Thursday, July 15, at 7:30 p.m., in the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, Philips Memorial Building, 700 S. High Street, West Chester. The concert will also be available via livestream at www.livestream.com/wcupa.
The Criterions is a premier musical ensemble of the Wells School of Music, playing the music of Count Basie, Buddy Rich, Stan Kenton and more. Criterions alumni, “Crites” for short, have gone on to successful careers as professional musicians, music teachers and music executives. Dave DiValentino, a band director in the North Penn school district, is the newly appointed director of the alumni ensemble.
DiValentino says, “The Criterions reunion always has an amazing energy to it. These musicians look forward all year to getting together with fellow alumni from across all generations to perform some great big band literature. This year will be extra special because it will be the first time since March of 2020 that a lot of us are playing music with other people and for a live audience. Great people, great music, and the spirit of WCU music will come together for an amazing concert!”
The concert coincides with the Wells School of Music’s Summer Jazz Camp and students from the camp will perform a few opening numbers.
The Criterions are the longest running University jazz band in the country. Originating in the 1920s, they were a student-led ballroom dance band, and provided entertainment for University dances, proms and post-Friday night games. As times changed, the “Crites” became a Faculty-led Jazz Ensemble by the early 1980’s, when the School of Music began Jazz curricula. They are known for their mastery of American popular songs and jazz standards from the early 20th century.
For safety purposes, unvaccinated audience members and/or those who are symptomatic, are asked to wear masks and patrons are asked to leave one empty seat between themselves and any party they're not attending the show with.
West Chester University’s Wells School of Music offers students outstanding opportunities in concentrated performance and musicianship. The School’s superior performance and practice venues include 22 new Steinways, Skinner organ, tech lab, Roland piano lab, and more. Students study with renowned faculty who have dual careers as dedicated educators and professional musicians. Faculty provide private lessons for all music students and are the directors for numerous student ensembles. The School supports a wide variety of performance degrees, including a Bachelor of Music in Performance, as well as a Master of Music in Performance. Graduates pursue successful careers at major institutions and teach music education at home and abroad.