Sunday, September 12, 2010

FURTHER INFORMATION:            STACY ARMSTRONG (626) 857-4082,  BOB SLACK (626) 914-8581


Citrus College Music Group Performs at Golden Score Awards

by Rachel White


The Citrus College Blue Note Swing Orchestra recently performed at the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers (ASMAC) 2010 Golden Score Awards, which was held at the Universal Hilton Hotel in Universal City, Calif.


The evening, hosted by Rob Reiner, paid tribute to famous music arrangers and composers Sammy Nestico and Marc Shaiman.  Honoree Nestico invited the Blue Note Swing Orchestra, under the direction of Citrus College’s Dean of Fine and Performing Arts Robert Slack, to perform during the ceremony where he was being awarded a Lifetime Achievement in Arranging Award.


“It was truly an honor to be invited to perform at this special event,” said Slack, who is also the founder of the Citrus College music group.  “Sammy Nestico has provided years of inspiration for young musicians around the world.  He changed the face of school jazz pedagogy.  He was essentially the first famous composer to write for school programs and I consider him the best.”


In 2006, Nestico asked the Blue Note Swing Orchestra to record his last publisher’s series for his company Fernwood Music.  The CD features 35 of Nestico’s songs performed by Citrus College music students and recorded in the college’s Recording Arts Studio.


“I was very pleased that the Blue Note Swing Orchestra was invited to perform at this prestigious event,” said Dr. Geraldine M. Perri, superintendent/president of Citrus College.  “Marc Shaiman and Sammy Nestico, in addition to being wonderful musicians and composers, have consistently proven to be excellent supporters and mentors.”


Nestico spent 14 years with the legendary Count Basie Orchestra, wining four Grammy Awards.  In addition, he worked with Capitol Records as an arranger and orchestrator, co-writing the equivalent of 63 albums for them.  He has also arranged and conducted for Phil Collins, Barbara Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and many others.


Shaiman, the evening’s recipient of the 2010 Golden Score Award, is a composer, lyrist, arranger, and performer for film, television and theatre.  His work is featured in many motion pictures, including “Broadcast News,” “Beaches,” “When Harry Met Sally,” and “Sleepless in Seattle.”  He has also earned five Academy Award nominations, a Tony Award, a Grammy Award and an Emmy Award.  He was the vocal arranger, musical director and co-producer for Bette Midler’s albums.


“The invitation extended  to the Blue Note Swing Orchestra underscores the fact that the band is one of the premier college jazz ensembles in the country,” said Dr. Gary L. Woods, president of the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees.  “Dean Slack and the Music Department faculty do an excellent job of teaching our students and providing them with the music industry mentors that enable them to succeed.”


The Blue Note Swing Orchestra has recorded for major motion pictures and television commercials.  In addition, they have performed in Europe, Japan and Hawaii and have won many jazz festival awards.  Most notably, the group won a Down Beat Award for their album, “A Tribute to Duke Ellington.”


To learn more about the Citrus College Music Program, visit




FURTHER INFORMATION:            STACY ARMSTRONG (626) 857-4082,  BOB SLACK (626) 914-8581