Director Retires After Final Jazz Concert

Merete Kenworthy for The Post • Photo by Sara Tobias

bastin-concertLast night, Ernie Bastin directed his last concert at Ohio University.

Two trumpet ensembles, two jazz combos and a jazz ensemble all performed at the concert. Bastin, director of the Ohio University Jazz Ensemble II, is retiring after 40 years at OU.

Bastin taught trumpet, directed Jazz Ensemble I for 30 years and Jazz Ensemble II for the past two years.

The concert began with a surprise trumpet ensemble honoring Bastin, who has been playing trumpet for 62 years. The ensemble was comprised of OU alumni who were all taught by Bastin.

Michael Parkinson, director of the Ohio University School of Music, will take over Bastin’s post next year. Parkinson said he met Bastin in the early 1970s while he was a director at Kent State University.

“I heard of his great reputation, and I knew that he was a tremendous musician,” Parkinson said.

The jazz ensemble started off their part of the concert with the piece “Easy Time” by Humberto Ramirez. Bastin said he especially enjoys this piece because the dancers feed off the musicians and the musicians feed off the dancers who are having so much fun.

“I’m surprised I didn’t see some of you dancing in the aisles,” Bastin said.

Jazz Ensemble II alto saxophone player Billy Foster said Bastin is the best band director he has ever had.

“He knows how to keep the rehearsals lively,” said Foster, a freshman studying music education.

Foster had his first solo last night during the salsa piece “Dancing Eyes” by Mike Tomaro. He said he was nervous but also excited because the solo went very well.

A member of two local bands, Bastin said he will still be quite busy after retirement.

“So, I’m officially retired, but it won’t be that much different,” Bastin said.

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