Written by Jack Miller
Last Tuesday, the March 23, Roanoke College held an event hosted by the Elderscholar Program. The event was titled Jazz History in 20 Recordings and was led by Roanoke College’s Dr. Marc H. LaChance. Lachance is an associate professor in the Fine Arts department, and he teaches classes as well as instructs the jazz and wind ensembles on campus.
The event was completely virtual, which is a departure from the normal in-person versions of the event at which students were allowed to come and explore a topic in-depth which is not typically offered by the college. Dr. LaChance presented his event around 20 distinct recordings of jazz music throughout the history of the genre.
The event began with the absolute beginnings of Jazz, as well as the importance it garnered as one of the first African American music forms during the Harlem Renaissance. As time progressed and Jazz morphed throughout history, other recordings showed a change and a progression from the original sound and theory surrounding the genre to what we in the early 21st century have today.
The Elderscholar program is a weekly program offered by the college. The program is the Roanoke region’s premier life-long learning opportunity for adults over 55. It explores a diverse range of topics. Some of the upcoming topics for this Spring Semester will be taught by professors throughout the departments of the college, from Biology to Philosophy some even taught by professional alumnus of the institution.
This week’s topics are titled: Conceptualizing Race: The History of a Four-Letter Word on March 30 and “Meadows and Woodlands” Poetry, hosted on March 31. Students can register for these events online under the “Programs Offered” tab on the college’s website. Registration is 90 dollars per person.