Jazz and classical music to be featured

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By The Staff

Classical and jazz music will fill Fuller Lodge during the Brown Bag performance at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 7.

Jan McDonald, trumpet, and Donna Smith, piano, will present this musical variety. "The musical selections are varied in style from contemporary to Tartini; to Handel; to Mozart and to Dave Brubeck," McDonald said.

This will not be the first time McDonald and Smith have been on the stage together. "We played together almost 30 years," Smith said. "(McDonald's) a fine musician and it's always a pleasure to play for him and with him."

McDonald said, "I enjoy working with Donna as she has been a good friend for many years, and she is a very fine musician."

In addition to the Brown Bag, McDonald and Smith are members of the Los Alamos Big Band - Smith is a performer and McDonald directs the band.

Both are experienced musicians. Smith has a piano degree from Warren Conservatory of Music. In addition to being involved with the Big Band, she has played with the Los Alamos Community Winds and performed as a piano soloist with winds. In the early 1950s, Smith toured the East Coast with the Horace Heidt Show and also in the same time period, was the guest artist at the International Piano Teacher's Association. From 1965-1977, she served as piano accompanist in the music department at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. After moving to Los Alamos, she served as a piano accompanist for a voice class at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos. Smith has performed as a solo pianist at New Mexico Highlands University and at UNM-LA.

McDonald earned his Bachelor of Arts in music education from the Northeast Missouri State Teacher's College. Additionally, he did post-graduate work at Indiana State University and did his doctoral study at Boston University. McDonald served several years as the band director at Los Alamos High School and currently teaches at the College of Santa Fe. He has also taught at the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble and Symphonic Band.

Not only do McDonald and Smith make a good duo, but their instruments collaborate well, too. "The piano works well with any instrument," McDonald said. "It is a wonderful solo instrument, and it is a great accompaniment for the trumpet."

Smith said she is looking forward to the performance at the lodge because "it's a place to play. It's a place to perform since we are performers, and the audience is always grateful and appreciative ... I think it's a good series for Los Alamos," she said.

She encourages people to attend the Brown Bag series because of the variety of music and "because of the quality of the musicians and the quality of the music."

The Brown Bag show is free to the public and is sponsored by the Los Alamos Art Council.