November 20th: The Prizewinners Pt. 1

20 Nov

Portland State Music: 30 for the 30th

Top: Brian Ward, Jason Weaver, Nick Kahl, Lars Campbell, Joe Gacioch
Bottom: Mark Hutchinson, Ken Ollis, Charley Gray

Putting Music Forward

In the spring of 2000,  Portland State Univeristy jazz ensemble traveled down to the Reno Jazz Festival.  The student combo there took first prize in the college division.In the ensuing twelve years the group’s seven  musicians have carved distinctive paths. Some have remained in music, others have pursued different directions.  For each,  however music has been a formative experience, and an early indicator of the excellence that they have achieved.

In 2005, PSU Music began offering a Masters of Music in Jazz Studies. Lars Campbell and Marc Hutchinson represent the most recent iteration of that degree.  From 2009-2011, Lars served as Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) in the jazz area.  Marc took over that role in 2011 and will continue until the end of the 2012-13 academic year.


Putting Skills to Work

Name: Lars Campbell

Instrument: trombone

Student of Randy Porter, Charley Gray, Darrell Grant

B.M. 2003, M.M. 2011  Portland State University

When he was a junior in High School Lars Campbell played in the Portland Youth Philharmonic.  He still plays both classical  and jazz, freelancing with the Oregon Symphony, and Oregon Ballet Theater, and performing with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra.  His discography includes appearances on Pepé and the Bottle Blondes’ Pambrosia, Pink Martini’s Hang on Little Tomato, Gordon Lee Big Band’s Flying Dream and Tim Bryson Project’s Playground. Lars’ innovative trio project Chopslaughter is inspired by everything from Mahler, Copland and Bach to The Who, Sigur Rós, and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

In 2007 he co-founded the Portland Jazz Orchestra with composer/arranger and PSU faculty member Charley Gray. PJO appearances include the 2007 and 2008 Portland Jazz Festivals,, the 2008 Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, and most recently, the 2009 Boones Ferry Concert Series in Wilsonville.

Lars performs regularly with the Bobby Torres Ensemble, the Nu Shooz Orchestra and several Portland area big bands.  He teaches at Pacific University and Willamette University.  As a composer/arranger, he was recently commissioned by the Beaumont Middle School Jazz Bands to arrange charts for big band.

What Has Your PSU Music Experience Meant to You?

“I’m grateful to PSU for the opportunity to learn from world class jazz musicians. When I came to Portland State in 1999, I knew that I wanted to gain knowledge from a wide variety of musicians, and the flexibility that was offered to me in my private lessons (studying for a year with pianist Randy Porter, focusing on harmony, and then for a year with drummer Alan Jones, focusing on phrasing, rhythm, and organic playing) has turned me into the musician I am today. Going back to PSU for my masters degree offered me the opportunity to learn things I was not ready for as an undergraduate. The small classes (mostly an instructor and me) offered me a graduate degree that was practically a series of private lessons in composition, arranging, history, education and performance. Invaluable, thanks to Charley and Darrell.”


 Adding Something Unique

Since 2009, Lars  has worked as a professional music engraver at Oregon Catholic Press.


Name: Marc Hutchinson

Instrument: saxophone

Student of Scott Hall, Rob Scheps, Charley Gray, Darrell Grant

B.M. 2001 M.M. 2013 Portland State University

On tenor sax: Marc Hutchinson – one of the best tenor saxophonists in town, is a very active member of the Portland music scene and has performed with Darrell Grant, Mel Brown, Dan Faenhle, Ron Steen, Bill Beach, Louis Pain, Dan Balmer, Ramsey Embick, Ben Darwish’s Commotion, Jujuba, the D.K. Stewart Band, Pepe and the Bottle Blondes, and Rubberneck, Darrell Grant, Mel Brown, Dan Faenhle, the D.K. Stewart Band, Patrick Lamb, the Ken Derouchie Band, as well as with national artists Ingrid Jensen and Don Braden. Dave Douglas, Chris Potter, Jim Black and Kenny Werner. Marc can also be found performing regularly with the Rocktet, the Dave Fleschner Band, Pete Peterson’s Big Band, Shelly Rudolph, The Notables, Greg Goebel, Dave Fleschner Band, Dancehall Days, Colin Lake and Wellbottom, Supraphonics, the JB Allstars,and his own projects: A New Groove, Ouroborus and the Winning Team Band.

He has performed at the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival, Vancouver Wine and Jazz Festival, Portland Jazz Festival, and Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival.  He spent some time in  jazz combos and show bands onboard cruise ships such as  the Columbia Queen and Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas,

Marc has taught music at Ethos Inc., where he authored their’ beginning band curriculum, taught jazz combo, beginning and intermediate bands, recorder classes, percussion, and private lessons on saxophone, recorder, flute, clarinet, trumpet, and piano.   In addition, he worked for the band programs at Self Enhancement Inc., and Bryant Allard’s M.U.S.E.  Marc currently runs Lair Hill Music with his wife, fellow PSU alum Brandy Hutchinson (Keehn).  He teaches jazz combo, saxophone, flute, clarinet, recorder. and EWI.


What Has Your PSU Music Experience Meant to You?

“My education at PSU laid the groundwork for me to be a successful member of Portland’s music community.   Since graduating from PSU in 2001, I’ve performed with many of Portland’s best know musicians in styles ranging from rock, funk, jazz, and classical.  I’ve seen the world performing on cruise ships, played in pit orchestras for theatrical productions, toured Russia’s far east, and travelled throughout the Northwest with my successful private events band, “A New Groove.”  My wife (whom I met at PSU) and I started our own music school, “Lair Hill Music Studios,” which we run out of our home.  I’ve coached big bands and combos, taught music courses at the collegiate level, given masterclasses, and started school band programs.  I’ve composed and arranged music for my own ensembles, lead my own bands, DJ’ed weddings, been a sound man, and used computers to produce music.  I’m grateful for my time at PSU.  It provided me with the skills necessary to be ready for all of these opportunities, and I am confident I have the knowledge to accept future opportunities in the music industry, so that I may continue to thrive in Portland’s music community.”


 Adding Something Unique

Recently Marc performed in Khabarovsk, Russia as a member of the Jazz Bridge Project, a cultural exchange between Portland and it’s sister city in Russia.


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