Snead State Community College Hosts Jazz Showcase and Improvisation Clinic


The Snead State Community College Music Department will present its annual Jazz Showcase following an Improvisation Clinic on Saturday, March 10, at the Bevill Center Auditorium.

Snead State Jazz Band Director Mike McGee will be joined by Dr. Mark Laughlin from Georgia Southwestern State University for both the Improvisation Clinic and Jazz Showcase. Mr. McGee will lead the beginning level improvisation class. In addition to serving as a guest pianist for the Jazz Showcase, Dr. Laughlin will lead the intermediate improvisation class.

The Improvisation Clinic will be held from noon until 3 p.m. The registration fee is $10, payable the day of the clinic, and will include materials used for the clinic. Participants should provide their own instruments. The clinic will approach improvisation in a non-threatening yet constructive fashion. No student will have to improvise alone.
The Jazz Showcase will begin at 7 p.m. and will feature the Snead State Jazz Band and the Etowah High School Jazz Band. Admission to the showcase is free.

Dr. Laughlin holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from the University of North Alabama, a Master of Music degree in piano pedagogy from the University of Memphis, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano pedagogy from the University of South Carolina, where he was the recipient of the coveted William H. Nolte Graduate Teaching Award. He also received the Two Thumbs Up Award for teaching and mentoring students with disabilities. Dr. Laughlin is a three-time quarterfinalist for the Music Educator Award, presented by the Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation, and was named Steinway and Sons “Top Teacher” of 2017. His recent recording Poulenc: Improvisations and Nocturnes has received outstanding reviews.

Dr. Laughlin is the author of numerous publications and is in high demand as a guest lecturer, performer and teacher. He has presented classical and jazz recitals, master classes, workshops, and research on local, state, national, and international levels including performances for former President and First Lady Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter.

Dr. Laughlin currently serves as Associate Professor of Music at Georgia Southwestern State University, where he was the recipient of the 2012-2013 President’s Excellence in University Service Award. He maintains an active adjudication schedule, judging state and regional competitions across the United States, and has served as the Composition Chair for the South Carolina Music Teachers Association. 

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