Composed of Lakeland students, amateur musicians and semi-professional players, the Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra features approximately 20 musicians. The traditional instrumentation consists of a full rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass and drums) five saxes, four trumpets, four trombone and the occasional singer.
Lakeland students and community members are encouraged to audition for the Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra.
WHO IS ELEGIBLE: All college students and community adults.
WHEN: During the fall and spring semesters, the civic jazz orchestra holds rehearsals every Wednesday evening from 7:30-9:30 p.m.
WHERE: Rehearsals are typically in the Fletcher Music Room, C-Building, Room C-1078.
REQUIREMENTS: All performers must have sight-reading skills, have had prior ensemble performance experience, and be able to commit to Wednesday evening rehearsals and two to four performances during the academic year. The repertoire of this ensemble provides opportunities for improvisation, so experience as a soloist is a plus. Brass wind and woodwind musicians must own their own instruments.
CRITERIA: Acceptance into the Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra is by audition that takes place in August. Please contact Lakeland's Civic Jazz Director for more information.
INSTRUMENTS: The jazz orchestra welcomes all jazz style instruments including alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, trombone, trumpet, piano, guitar, bass and drums.
The Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra was organized in 1973 under the direction of Charles Frank to provide jazz performance opportunities for Lakeland Community College students and community musicians. In its remarkable history, the jazz orchestra has had five directors, countless musicians and the opportunity to perform at a wide variety of settings including the Ohio Music Education Association Conference in Cincinnati.
Following Charles Frank's departure to become the executive director of the Fine Arts Association, Dr. Dan McCarthy was added to the Lakeland Community College music faculty and became director of the Jazz Ensemble until 1991. Legendary Cleveland saxophonist Ernie Krivda took up the reigns in 1992 and continued to lead the group at concerts and the Jazz Festival. In 2002, Larry A. Smith, was appointed to lead the group and under Smith's direction, the Lakeland Jazz Orchestra performed at Lakeland's Jazz Festivals, at the Great Lakes Mall Holiday Concert Series, and at the Madison Jazz Festival in 2005. From 2008 through 2020, Director Dave Sterner led the group at the Ashtabula Jazz Festival, as well as, the Lakeland Jazz Festival and numerous themed Lakeland concerts. Ed Michaels served as interim director through Spring 2022. In fall 2022, Demetrius Steinmetz became director of the Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra.
Meet the Director
Demetrius Steinmetz holds a Master of Music in string performance and Bachelor of Music in jazz studies from Bowling Green State University. In addition to directing the Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra, he is also part of the jazz studies faculty at Cuyahoga Community College where he teaches courses including applied bass and piano, performance ensembles, class piano, class guitar, and Rock and Roll history. He has more than a decade's worth of experience teaching for Tri-C's Jazz Preparatory Program, as well as Tri-C's "Summer With The Jazz Masters" camp.
Steinmetz is currently an instructor for the outreach program through the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra working with students from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. He has been an instructor for the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning's ArtWorks program, leading a group of jazz "apprentices," mentoring them in music while working on 21st century skills. He has also designed a jazz improvisation course for saxophone camp, coached combos for jazz camp, and instructed double bass techniques for string students at BGSU summer music camps as well as jazz studies majors.
Steinmetz spent four years as Artist in Residence at the Cleveland School of the Arts, where he was director of bands and jazz ensemble. He has been an instructor for the instrumental music after-school program for the 21st Century Community Learning Center and Young Audiences of Greater Cleveland and has taught saxophone and bass at The Fine Arts Association in Willoughby, as well as the Beck Center for the Arts.
Steinmetz performs professionally in the Cleveland area, and has performed with nationally known artists such as Jimmy Heath, Carl Allen, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Kim Nazarian, Howard Johnson, Doug Lawrence and Chico Hamilton. He has been recorded on Cadence Records, which received four stars in a review in Downbeat magazine.