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Recent WMU graduates chosen for Senior Jazz Award

by Mark Schwerin

July 1, 2011 | WMU News

KALAMAZOO--Three recent graduates of the Western Michigan University Jazz Studies Program have been presented with the Senior Jazz Award.

The recipients are Jordan Richards and Evan J. Hyde, both of Grand Rapids, Mich., and Laura Dubin of Rochester, N.Y. Dubin also was recently named one of eight artists to participate in the 2011 Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Emerging Artist Workshop, a coveted workshop for emerging jazz artists at the Kennedy Center in Washington.

The three were chosen for the honor by WMU jazz faculty. They will record repertoire they developed during their years together in the program and will receive up to $1,000 of studio time. The recording project will take place at the local recording studio Arcadia Recording under the auspices of owner and engineer John Stites.

The three honorees are examples of the high level of excellence of this year's crop of program graduates, says Tom Knific, WMU professor of music and director of the Jazz Studies Program.

"This year was, perhaps, the richest graduating class in our program's history," Knific says. "We are very proud of them and their work at WMU and the sterling manner in which they have represented themselves, as well as our program."