[ in the press ]

In conversation: Thomas C. Duffy on preserving the rhythmic traditions of Ghana

Thomas C. Duffy, director of University Bands and an adjunct professor at the Yale School of Music, will be part of a contingent travelling to Ghana this month. Duffy recently spoke with YaleNews about how the trip came to be, what he hopes he and his students will gain from the experience, and the reciprocal nature of cultural exchange. The following is an edited version of that conversation. MORE

Published May 16, 2014
Share This Comments

Yale Jazz Ensemble performs benefit concert at the John C. Daniels School on April 4

Featuring the Yale Jazz Ensemble, directed by Thomas C. Duffy

In the twilight of the evening, John C. Daniels School will hold a benefit concert, Jazz Under The Stars, on Monday, April 4, at 7 pm. The hour-long concert, featuring the Yale Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Thomas C. Duffy, will take place in the courtyard at John C. Daniels School (JCD).  Audience members are welcome to bring blankets or cushions.

All proceeds from this benefit concert will go to purchase new, high-quality instruments for JCD band students.  These instruments will provide the opportunity for more advanced playing, and they will go with the students as they matriculate at high school and beyond.

The Yale Jazz Ensemble, a seventeen-piece big band, will perform a wide variety of music, from the music of standard swing bands to progressive jazz compositions. The concert will also include a special performance of Irving Berlin’s “Cheek to Cheek,” arranged by Garth Neustadter, featuring vocalist Stasha Rosen.

Thomas C. Duffy is the Director of Bands at Yale University and a professor at the Yale School of Music.  Dr. Duffy will lead the YJE and will invite selected John C. Daniels students to perform with this prestigious ensemble. According to Duffy, “We are proud to support the mission of John C. Daniels School.  It is our hope to contribute to the musical education to these aspiring student musicians.  Plus, it is a wonderful way to contribute back to our community.”


Published March 22, 2011
Share This Comments

Yale Concert Band & Yale Jazz Ensemble bring Cole Porter and Glenn Miller back to life

Cole Porter

The Yale Concert Band and Yale Jazz Ensemble, both directed by Thomas C. Duffy, will present “ Cole Porter and Glenn Miller Return to New Haven!” featuring New York cabaret artist Steve Ross on Friday, December 3, at 7:30 pm.

The first half of the program will offer a tribute to Cole Porter, who graduated from Yale College in 1913. Porter wrote the Yale University fight songs that are still performed today, as well as the innumerable great American song classics. This concert will include “Begin the Beguine,” “Night and Day,” “Can Can,” “Let’s Do It,” and more. The New Yorker called Steve Ross “the personification of the spirit of Cole Porter.”

The concert’s second half will recreate Glenn Miller‘s broadcasts from Yale. In 1943, Captain Glenn Miller and the Army Air Forces Technical Training Command Band – better known as the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band – made six live broadcasts from Yale’s Woolsey Hall. Titled “I Sustain the Wings” (from the AAFTCC motto “Sustineo Alas”), these broadcasts were twenty-five minutes in length and included radio skits, musical selections performed by the larger AAF orchestra, and numbers with vocalists and the military version of Glenn Miller’s popular big band.

Glenn Miller

With Woolsey Hall’s stage dressed as it was in 1943 and members of the Yale Jazz Ensemble appearing in the roles of their counterparts from six decades ago, this retrospective is a re-enactment of portions of these broadcasts, complete with radio skits, vocalists, and a swinging big band. Included are the Miller classics “In the Mood,” “Moonlight Serenade,” “Little Brown Jug,” and more.

The Yale Bands have performed this acclaimed program numerous times throughout Connecticut and New York since its original inception in 1994 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landing at Normandy. While stationed at Yale, Glenn Miller and his military big band touched all of New Haven and, indeed, the country with their performances. This re-enactment has won rave reviews from the public and journalists alike, with audience members describing the experience as “transporting, uplifting, riveting, a special gift.” Fourteen years and numerous performances later, the show is just as powerful and relevant. MORE

Published October 28, 2010
Share This Comments

Help Can’t Wait: Pakistan Relief Benefit Concert this Saturday, Sept. 25 at 7pm

Performers include South Asian musicians, dancers, and singers, plus Yale Symphony Orchestra, Yale Concert Band, Yale Glee Club

Devastating floods in Pakistan have left millions of people hurt or homeless. In response to the crisis, the Yale community will present “Help Can’t Wait: Pakistan,” a benefit concert for flood relief, on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 7 pm.

The concert will be held in Woolsey Hall, corner of College and Grove streets. The program will include performances by the Yale Symphony Orchestra, Yale Concert Band and Yale Glee Club, and student and professional South Asian musicians, dancers, and singers.

The suggested donation for concert tickets is $20/$10 students. All contributions will go to the Pakistan Flood Relief effort — specifically Karachi Relief, UNICEF and the International Federation of the Red Cross. These organizations already have a presence in Pakistan and have begun the work of delivering humanitarian aid, services, and supplies.

Tickets can be purchased at the Yale School of Music box office at Sprague Memorial Hall, 470 College St. Monday through Friday, between  9 am and 5 pm. Tickets also are available at music.yale.edu/concerts. In addition, tickets will be sold in the lobby of Woolsey Hall beginning at 6 p.m. on the evening of the event. MORE

Published September 22, 2010
Share This Comments

Thomas C. Duffy & Stephanie Hubbard honored for “Rap for Justice”


Thomas C. Duffy, left, and Stephanie Hubbard, right, with Nora Dannehy, United States Attorney, District of Connecticut

On October 23, 2009, Thomas C. Duffy, director of Yale Bands, and Stephanie Hubbard, business manager of the bands, received special recognition from the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Connecticut for their role in presenting “Rap for Justice” on May 6.

The “Rap for Justice” concert attracted around 1,000 high school students from seven Connecticut cities to Woolsey Hall to hear the concert’s message of non-violence and respect – and to hear raps from Duffy and Robert Blocker, dean of the Yale School of Music. The concert featured performances by the Yale Concert Band, the rap group 4Peace, and three winners of a statewide rap contest, as well as a screening of a film on teen crime.

The film, based on actual events, offered information about the criminal justice system, pointing out, among other messages, that a juvenile record is counted against an adult convicted of a crime. For his first offense as an adult, the protagonist of the movie gets tried in federal court and sentenced to 15 years. The last act of “Rap for Justice” featured performances by the three students who had won a statewide contest for the best rap lyrics promoting peace.

Sponsored by Yale, the concert was an innovative collaboration among Yale Bands, the U.S Department of Justice, and 4PEACE founders Twice Thou and Edo G.

A slideshow of the “Rap for Justice” concert is available here.

Published November 10, 2009
Share This Comments