By Alyssa Seidman
On Tuesday, Feb. 21, Black Tie Brass (BTB), a band composed of LIU Post alumni, will perform a convocation in the Hillwood Recital Hall during common hour. The program, entitled “The 21st Century Musician,” includes a presentation outlining what it takes to be a successful musician in 2017 as well as a performance.
According to Lisa Meyer, production coordinator for the music department, the majority of the attendees at the event will be music majors, but all students are welcome to attend.
The group, which was founded in 2013, is a horn-driven, jazz band that “combines the presence of a New Orleans brass band with the sound of a funk band,” according to its Facebook page. The band members include Ryan McNulty (trombone), Randolph Smith (trumpet), Mike Alvarez (saxophone), Jason Reese (keyboard), Vinny Muscarella (guitar), Charles Jourdan (bass), and Glenn Chiarello (drums).
Alvarez came up with the idea for BTB to present and perform for current music majors, Meyer said, since he, as well as the rest of the band, are department alumni. “The department keeps in touch with many of our alums, and we were delighted to be able to work out a mutually convenient date for them to come back and perform for our current majors,” she said.
“The whole band met through LIU Post, so we felt it only fitting to come back and show the students how to adapt to the changing world of music,” McNulty said. “We have started to figure out our way by trial and error, and if we can help any other musicians not make the same mistakes, then we want to try and help them.”
“This is a partnership that we would like to see continue because we enjoy inspiring up-and-coming professionals, and showing off our talents to students at our alma mater,” Smith said.
“It feels very fulfilling coming back to where I learned the most about music to share my experiences,” Muscarella said. “I hope everyone can take something away from this event and apply it to their future musical careers.”
The band members said the repertoire of songs they plan to play at the event is a mix of original compositions as well as covers and arrangements of popular songs. They have been preparing for “The 21st Century Musician” in between gigs at various venues across Long Island.
“We gig regularly, so each gig and rehearsal is an opportunity to hone in on the music we want to showcase for the convocation,” Smith said.
“Our writing process never ends, so we are constantly tweaking our arrangements to make them more enjoyable for us and the listener,” McNulty said.
Meyer said that although the program is mainly intended for aspiring musicians, she believes the content of the presentation will be beneficial for any students, regardless of their prospective career path. A major aspect of the presentation, she added, is how positive social media branding plays such a big part in one’s success. “Through hard work, initiative, and good use of social media, creating a viable career is possible.”
“We are honored to be able to come back and share our real world knowledge with the current students there, even though just a few short years ago we were in those seats,” McNulty said.
“We look forward to meeting and performing for the current Post students,” Smith said.