Students at the Department of Music and Dance not only take lessons and perform in department ensembles; they often form their own bands and play gigs around town. In our Student Band Spotlight series, we'll get to know these ambitious musicians and learn how they pursue their love of music in the classroom and beyond.
THE FLAT FIVE
Aaron Lucci ’18, Jazz Studies/Environmental Science, bass
Avery Cooper ’17, Jazz Studies/Math, alto sax
Sam Atallah ’20, Jazz Studies, trumpet
Eamon Callahan ’19, Community & International Development, drums
Josh Childs, ’20, Computer Science/Geography, piano
What type of music do you play?
Where did your band name come from?
When we're playing an ABA solo section and somebody’s soloing, Avery always plays three flat 5th notes in a chord to keep our place. And we’re also 5 people!
How was the band formed? How did you meet?
We started jamming last semester, and Aaron and Avery have played together for a while, but it wasn't until this semester we formed as a group. We all met through playing in [UVM jazz] ensembles.
What is a typical rehearsal like?
Aaron brings in music to rehearse tunes that we all know, or to introduce new stuff, and we all contribute to what we play. We rehearse once a week for about an hour. Avery may have some original stuff in the works.
Tell me about one or two of your favorite songs. What makes them enjoyable to perform? What do you do to put a unique Flat Five twist on the tunes?
Our favorite tunes to play are "Nostalgia in Times Square" by Charles Mingus and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" by Duke Ellington. "Nostalgia" is a great tune with a stop time chorus that is great to play on its own or under solos. This tune has more of a shuffle feel.
"Don't Get Around" lets Avery scream out the main melody while Sam fills in the space. This tune can be played a little slower while still swingin' hard.
How have your first couple of gigs gone?
Huge turnout, pretty cool, Radio Bean was jammin’, which was fun. And we have more gigs coming up. We're talking to Nectar’s about a possible show.
What are your plans for the future?
Keep playing together, hopefully next year Avery will stick around [after graduation] so it will be cool to still have him playing with us.
Interview by Andy Aquino 3/8/2017