November 12, 2019

SEC Student Music Ensemble to Perform During Football Championship

Members of the 2018 SEC Student Music Ensemble performing in Atlanta, Georgia.
Members of the 2018 SEC Student Music Ensemble performing in Atlanta, Georgia.

By: SEC Staff
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

The 2019 SEC Football Championship weekend will again feature an SEC Student Music Ensemble. Heading into its fifth year, the ensemble gives students the opportunity to collaborate in a special jazz combo, and the group will perform Friday, December 6 at the SEC Legends Dinner and Saturday, December 7 at the SEC Pregame Hospitality Party.

This year’s eight-piece ensemble will feature David Ray, a bassist from the University of Alabama, alongside Felipe Antonio, a jazz guitarist from the University of Arkansas; Blake Brooks and Jacob O’Donnell, a drummer and saxophonist from the University of Kentucky, respectively; Terrell McGowan and Quayshaun Shumpert, on trumpet and trombone from the University of Mississippi; Terrell Gilmore, a saxophonist from Mississippi State University; and Morgan McGee, a pianist from the University of South Carolina.

While the performances throughout the weekend focus on jazz music, students were nominated by their universities for demonstrating award-winning competence in a range of genres. Quentin Smith, a University of Georgia bassist from 2018, participated after a classical recital highlighting composers like Giovanni Bottesini and Johann Sebastian Bach, among others.

“Playing in the SEC Student Music Ensemble was a truly memorable opportunity in my life,” said Smith. “It was really interesting to see what kinds of playing styles and interests my regional peers have, as well as to make some new contacts for the next time I might be in Nashville or Auburn. Overall, it was a delightful experience, and I’m honored to have been a part of it.”

Oversight of the 2019 ensemble belongs to Miles Osland, Professor of Saxophone and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Kentucky. Osland has appeared as a guest conductor throughout North America, Europe and Asia, and is the author of three books and more than 75 scholarly articles. He returns to the ensemble after having served as assistant director in 2018 with Auburn University’s Director of Jazz, Dr. Mike Pendowski.

“This combo has been a great experience for the students,” said Pendowski. “Several of the ensemble members from Auburn and UGA (including Smith) released an album last spring, and it happened because they met at the SEC Student Music Ensemble.”

Aside from performing, students may attend the Dr Pepper SEC FanFare and the SEC Football Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The musicians will be recognized following their performance at the SEC Legends Dinner and during Saturday’s game.

“The SEC Student Music Ensemble is a great opportunity for our students to interact and perform with the best and the most talented,” said Osland. “I’m honored to conduct some of the finest students the Conference has to offer, so kudos to the SEC for supporting the arts.”

Below are members of the 2019 SEC Student Music Ensemble.

  • David Ray, University of Alabama – Bass
  • Felipe Antonio, University of Arkansas – Guitar
  • Blake Brooks, University of Kentucky – Drums
  • Jacob O’Donnell, University of Kentucky – Alto Saxophone
  • Terrell McGowan, University of Mississippi – Trumpet
  • Quayshaun Shumpert, University of Mississippi – Trombone
  • Terrell Gilmore, Mississippi State University – Tenor Saxophone
  • Morgan McGee, University of South Carolina – Piano