Written by Jordan Hanson
On April 19, Olin Hall featured a joint jazz and wind ensemble concert directed by Dr. Joseph Blaha, who will be retiring from Roanoke after a 16-year career at the college.
Freshman Oliva Long, member of both jazz band and wind ensemble, enjoys the convenience of the joint concert, also stating that the two groups have gotten used to performing together. Of her director, Long said, “Dr. Blaha is always happy and excited to work on music. He has great ideas and pushes us to be the best we can be. We are all going to miss him next year.”
This concert is Dr. Blaha’s last at Roanoke College. Blaha said the challenge with working with a variety of instrumental arrangements is “bringing together those with different backgrounds into a cohesive ensemble.” His favorite thing about directing at Roanoke has been witnessing student growth alongside his own. In retirement, Dr. Blaha stated that he is looking forward to “exploring with total abandon literature, art, and of course, music.”
Congratulations to the music groups on a successful concert and to Dr. Blaha on his retirement. There was a reception after the concert to honor Dr. Blaha and his contribution to the music programs at RC.