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Milligan bids farewell to long-time jazz prof at concert, Nov. 18

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Music professor Rick Simerly will direct his last ensemble concert before retirement at the end of 2016.

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Nov. 3, 2016) – Before retiring at the end of the semester, Milligan College jazz professor Rick Simerly will lead the college’s Jazz Ensemble one last time on Friday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m. for a special “greatest hits” concert in the college’s Mary B. Martin Auditorium located in Seeger Chapel. This event is free and open to the public.

The concert, appropriately titled “Retrospective,” will feature best-loved jazz compositions and arrangements that were favorites of audiences and ensemble members during the group’s 16-year history. Songs include “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” by Duke Ellington; “Get Out and Stay Out,” by Ian McDougall; and some Christmas favorites, like “Let it Snow” and “Winter Wonderland.”

“This is a very special concert for me because it will be my last,” said Simerly. “I have mixed feelings of joy and sadness as I go into it. Although I look forward to retiring, I will certainly miss this band, its members and the fun times we had in rehearsals and performances.”

“We deeply appreciate Rick’s contribution to the rich musical heritage and offerings at Milligan,” said Milligan President Dr. Bill Greer. “He and his band have brought Milligan a lot of great music and a lot of recognition. While we’re sorry to see him go, we wish him the very best upon his well-deserved retirement.”

The concert, happening on a Friday night instead of the usual Monday evening, not only features the ensemble but also individual solos from several members of the band, which consists of students and adults from the community.

“The combination of students and adults in this band has been successful,” said Simerly. “I have been lucky to not only have good students, but also fantastic adult musicians in the area who are willing to give up their Monday evenings to play jazz. Because of this mixture of students and adults, the band is more seasoned, more proficient and a true musical experience for its members and audience.”

Simerly said that, ultimately, retiring from Milligan is bittersweet.

“I look back at my sixteen years grateful and honored to have been a part of Milligan College,” said Simerly. “This has been a fantastic place to work, and I have been particularly privileged to work with an incredible music faculty and teach some excellent students and adult musicians. Although I’m retiring, I don’t plan on slowing down. My wife and I plan on traveling quite a bit, and as long as I’m breathing, I will still be playing the trombone.”



MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts university in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan University, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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