What’s All that Jazz about This MC Band?

Manhattan College’s jazz band is cooking up another round of exciting songs for their spring

By Kyla Guilfoil, Managing Editor and Sports Editor

Manhattan College’s jazz band is cooking up another round of exciting songs for their spring performance. The group’s director and student musicians are thrilled to be performing one of their most diverse set lists yet. 

Geoff Mattoon, a professional saxophone player and director of MC’s jazz band, told The Quadrangle that the group will be giving an exciting performance on May 2 in Kelly Commons. Traditionally, the jazz band holds an end-of-semester concert both in the fall and the spring. 

While the fall semester concert largely showcased holiday music, Mattoon said that he tried to incorporate multiple styles into this spring’s performance. 

“I’m just trying to do different styles of music,” Mattoon said. “So there’s some songs that fall sort of under the category of swing music, and then some that have a little more of a contemporary, you know, feel to it too.” 

Mattoon shared that on top of a wide variety of styles, this performance will showcase multiple singers, more than the group has done in the 11 years that Mattoon has been a director. 

Sticking to a wide variety, Mattoon said that one vocal performance will be a Cindi Lauper song, while another is a Frank Sinatra classic. 

Plus, one of the band’s musicians, Luiz Chavez, will perform vocals for a song that he actually arranged for the band. The song is La Bikina, which Chavez will sing fully in Spanish. 

Giulia Auricchio, one of the band’s drummers and president of the group, said that it is a fun experience working on a song arranged by one of her bandmates. 

“[Chavez] arranged it all himself, like he did all of the putting all their documents together and stuff like that,” Auricchio said. “He came to me and asked how to help him get the right drum music.” 

Auricchio said that Chavez’s song is an example of how Mattoon has let the students have input in what they perform. 

Auricchio, a junior and chemical engineering major, told The Quadrangle that playing in MC’s jazz band has shaped her overall college experience so far. 

“I just had so much fun,” Auricchio said. “I think it’s just so rewarding because those performances at the end of the semester are just so much fun, and all your hard work, you’re able to show it off to people, like to your friends, family, to or is anyone who’s coming….you know, it’s just it’s so rewarding. I love it. so much.” 

Auricchio said it was particularly impactful for her to experience the group’s performance at the end of last semester. 

“That was the first performance that I was president for, so I was like, ‘wow, this is so sick,’” Auricchio said.  “I think I really pay attention to everyone’s growth and it was so awesome to see how starting off in early semester to the growth of how we all sounded in the end…it was just so cool to see.” 

The upcoming concert will be the last for Alex Ciprut, a senior guitar player in the band. Ciprut has been in the jazz band at MC for his entire college career. 

“[Jazz band] was actually one of the reasons I came here,” Ciprut told The Quadrangle. “Having music in my life is very important to me.” 

Ciprut receives a music scholarship from the college, which requires him to be in two music groups while he is a student. So, alongside playing guitar with the jazz band, he is also a cellist for the college’s orchestra. 

Ciprut said receiving the music scholarship and continuing to play in music groups, was essential in his decision to attend Manhattan. 

As a student who went through the college’s COVID shutdown in 2020, Ciprut has experienced both playing with the group virtually and in-person. 

He said he is excited for this final show in-person to finish out his college career with the band. 

With a wide variety of songs and a group of talented musicians, the jazz band welcomes the Manhattan College community to its spring concert on May 2 at 8 p.m. in Kelly Common’s fifth floor space.