Let my children have music! Let them hear live music.

Charles Mingus

It’s back to school time for everyone, even if it may not look like it has in the past. While we may not be IN the schools right now, the CJO still continues to focus efforts on our Educational Outreach, finding new ways to serve our communities and our students, and we have some good news to share!

Each month, the CJO will be giving away one free, original big band chart to Ohio school jazz programs, each of which will be created by CJO band members. Our first chart is entitled “Ovid on Covid.” In this chart, CJO members Chris Anderson, Aidan Plank and Chris Coles all created melodies which were then woven together by CJO Artistic Director Paul Ferguson. Accompanying this free tune is a recording by the CJO performing it.

The CJO presenting Crestview HS Band Director Hannah Wolf a copy of the chart “Ovid on Covid” at its premiere in Ashland on August 2nd.

The Story Behind “Ovid on Covid”

Here are Artistic Director Paul Ferguson’s notes on the piece:

“2020 will be remembered largely as the year of the COVID pandemic. It shut schools, businesses and put all of us in a certain type of exile.

“I commissioned three blues themes from three of our CJO composers then combined them into a new arrangement called ‘Ovid on Covid.’ Ovid was one of the great Roman poets, a rough contemporary to Jesus (43BC, Italy-18 AD, Romania), best known for his 15 book mythological narrative Metamorphoses. He ran afoul of the emperor Augustus and was exiled to a part of the Black Sea in current day Romania.

“The themes by Aidan Plank and Chris Anderson are straightforward melodies presented in unison, harmony and then combined. After some solo space, a new modern theme by Chris Coles emerges with a new rhythmic groove and more challenging harmonies. The older melodies resurface in a new key and are combined with Coles’ theme.

“The goals are common-combine the simple with the complex, the traditional with the modern, and present ideas in a variety of guises and contexts. Hope you enjoy!”

Performance Notes

Here are drummer Jim Rupp’s performance notes on the piece:

As a drummer we have four parameters to use to add drama and shape to a piece of music…

  1. Dynamics
  2. Textures
  3. Rhythmic Density
  4. Time Feel or ‘the groove’

“I tried to think of each of these when playing each of the sections. See below….

  1. Use dynamics in each section to build intensity and shape of the piece. I tended to start each section softer and build over each section and also build behind the soloists.

  2. Textures are also very different. I played on a smaller sizzle cymbal for the first section and then went to my main ride for the second section. The final section I used the hi hat for a totally different texture to match the groove change.

  3. Rhythmic density….. on the this piece this tends to align with the ideas from #1 above

  4. The time feels are very different for each section. The initial section has a loose, broken feel, the second a more simple straight ahead feel, and the last a straight 8th feel as compared to a swing feel in the first 2 sections. 

Enjoy and have fun!”

“Ovid on Covid”

YOU can listen to a recording of the CJO performing “Ovid on Covid” here: https://mcusercontent.com/b0342bd02b19d9d753a7c4824/files/31fcadf2-8892-454e-a8d3-b412289dc93d/Ovid_on_Covid_Mix2.mp3

If you are so inclined, check out the chart: https://mcusercontent.com/b0342bd02b19d9d753a7c4824/files/2bed2dfa-56f9-45e1-9829-3d892a5430f2/Ovid_on_Covid.pdf


Thanks for tuning in this week!