ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. (Nov. 30, 2008)—The St. Mary's College of Maryland (SMCM) Jazz Band will delight audiences with classic jazz tunes on Friday, Dec. 5, at 8 p.m. in St. Mary's Hall of the Auerbach Auditorium at SMCM. Under the direction of SMCM music professor Don Stapleson, student musicians will perform selections by Duke Ellington, Tadd Dameron, and Antonio Carlos Jobim, among others. This concert is free and open to the public.
Stapleson works as saxophone instructor, improvisation instructor, jazz ensemble director, and musicianship/aural skills instructor at the college, where he also directs the Jazz Combo and the Jazz Ensemble. A prominent saxophonist and flutist, he performs with his own group, the Don Stapleson Quartet, as well as with the classical/jazz group, "Allegro con Trio." He has performed with Ray Charles, Dexter Gordon, Nancy Wilson, and recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Martha Reeves. Stapleson attended the Berklee College of Music and holds degrees from SMCM and the University of Maryland.
Among his other accomplishments, Stapleson has performed at the National Theater as a member of the pit orchestra during its productions of "Annie Get Your Gun" and "Cats." He is a former member of the Peabody Ragtime Ensemble and has recently appeared as guest soloist with the Chesapeake Chamber Orchestra. He has also been heard in the orchestra at the Folger Theater during the Interact Theater productions of Noel Coward's "Private Lives" and Gilbert & Sullivan's "H.M.S. Pinafore."