The University of Florida Tuba Euphonium Ensemble, also known as Gator Bass, presented an encore performance at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, on Dec. 2, 2014 as a part of the Mayo Humanities Series. Under the direction of Adjunct Lecturer James E. Jenkins, Gator Bass presented a program of light classical and holiday favorites for medical professionals, staff, patients and the general public.
Professor of Trombone Dr. Arthur Jennings joined the ensemble as a featured guest soloist, along with Jacksonville-based soprano Carolyn Snyder-Menke. Jennings performed the famous tenor aria from the opera Turandot, Nessun Dorma, and Franz Schubert's Ave Maria. Snyder-Menke also led a sing-a-long of holiday carols.
In addition to the open commentary and question and answer opportunities provided during the program, the students connected with attendees by going into the audience and greeting them directly. This is something that Jenkins calls “the Gator blitz.”
“Performing at Mayo Clinic was an incredible experience,” says freshman music education student Rachel Stern. “It brought me great joy to see the smiling faces in the crowd as we played. It's performances like these that remind me why I chose to major in music education.”
Junior finance major Daniel Jara saw the group perform at Mayo Clinic three years ago and was awestruck at the time. “I was determined to play in this group,” he says. “Performing was so gratifying. I'm proud to be a member of the Gator Bass!"