The Ball State Jazz Lab Ensemble has been selected to perform at this summer's Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and will be hosting a performance tonight for the community to get a sneak peek of the show.
The Jazz Lab Ensemble will be performing a "Preview of Montreux," the final concert of the year, alongside other Ball State jazz ensembles at 7:30 p.m. in Sursa Performance Hall.
The 51st Montreux Jazz Festival, the second largest jazz festival in the world, will run from June 1 to July 15. The Ball State Jazz Lab Ensemble will be performing in the festival July 6 and 8.
This is not the ensemble's first appearance at the festival. Ensemble director Mark Buselli said the group has performed three times under the direction of former band director Larry McWilliams.
“When we decided that we wanted to go to Montreux we called them up and they said, ‘Oh, Ball State! We love Ball State,'” Buselli said.
Festival officials told Buselli to send in an audition tape due to the intense competition to perform in Montreux. He sent in audio and video of one of the ensemble’s performances.
“We passed with flying colors,” he said.
Kaleigh Wilder, a senior music performance major, has been playing baritone saxophone in the ensemble for two years. She said she is excited for the performance and travel aspects of the festival.
“This is something that we can put on our résumés forever," Wilder said. "That’s probably the biggest thing, just having that as something you can talk about."
Buselli said the school had recently started a new jazz concentration major, which has improved the quality of the students who come to Ball State.
“We have a very supportive administration," Buselli said. "They talk about immersive learning at Ball State University, and I can’t think of a more immersive type of learning than this.”
If you’re unable to travel halfway across the world to see the ensemble perform in Switzerland, you can attend tonight's performance — general admission is $5 and the event is free for students with a Ball State student ID when they go the Emens Box Office in advance.