Music professor hosts faculty recital featuring Michigan musicians

Colin Wood shares recital stage with Rufus Ferguson on piano, Javier Enrique on bass and Michael Reed on drums. Vanguard Photo Editor | Audrey Bergey

Rhea Miller Recital Hall welcomed professor Dr. Colin Wood to feature guest artists from around Michigan for his faculty recital on Friday, Feb. 25.

Joined on stage were Rufus Ferguson on piano, Javier Enrique on bass and Michael J. Reed on drums.

“Each one is a fantastic performer, educator and composer in their own right, so I was delighted to share the stage with them,” Wood said.

The concert began at 7:30 p.m. opening with “Stella’s Waltz” composed by Wood himself, specifically written for his daughter.

All the music in the program was composed by Wood.

“Many of these pieces were written for family members or important events in my life, so the music is very important to me,” Wood said. “I would call the style modern jazz, which just means improvised music that draws influence from across the jazz tradition as well as other styles and genres.”

Music junior Felicia Snyder attended the recital.

“I thought that was so cool and I love how it has sentimental value behind it,” Snyder said.

Preparation for the faculty recital looked a bit different for Wood.

“I have spent some time recently running through the pieces of this recital in order to get the feel and pacing of the concert,” Wood said. “Also, I continue my regular practice routines of playing and learning new jazz standards, transcribing great jazz solos, and developing jazz language. Staying connected to the jazz tradition is always helpful, even when preparing new and original music.”

Wood also made some slight changes while preparing for his recital.

“I have made some adjustments to the tunes, some of which I have played many times before, to keep them new and interesting for both myself and the audience,” Wood said.

Music students Felicia Snyder and Seth Bearden both enjoyed the recital.

“[My favorite] was the second movement of the “‘Upward Suite,’” Snyder said. “That ‘Prophetic Frenzy’ was so cool. The drum solo in it was insanity.”

“My favorite part was either ‘Wistful’ or ‘Talvez,’” Bearden said. “They were both really good.”

Michael J. Reed, featured on the drum kit, was a fan favorite.

“He puts so much personality into what he does,” Bearden said. “It’s super cool to see. He was very creative with a lot of ways he did things. There was a very large variety and options and textures he used. He was very creative and energetic; it was almost humorous.”

Wood brought color and the characteristic saxophone sound that rang throughout the hall.

“Overall, I really like Wood’s tone,” Snyder said. “It’s so warm. It’s such a specific shade of orange that I can’t put a name on it. Absolutely would love to see something like this again. The four of them together was honestly great.”

Audrey Bergey

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