Enjoy the Journey

Jazz Studies students are learning how to manage recording projects from home, a norm in professional recording today.


All year, the jazz combo of faculty member John Thomas has met online to write, record, and perform. They’ve also learned new professional skills out of necessity.

“This has been the norm for a lot of recording for about the last decade or so,” said Jazz Studies faculty member John Thomas. “This is usually what professional musicians do—send a track back and forth and overdub their own parts.”

Thomas leads a combo of first-year and transfer students including trumpeter Yassen El-Magharbel, guitarist George Heffley, pianist Abe Luedtke, bassist Tianyu Zhang, and drummer and vocalist Sophia Stroud. In addition to new skills, they’ve developed new friendships they’ll bring with them when they return to campus.

“We’ve still been able to connect with each other in a really valuable way,” said Stroud.

They titled the piece featured in this video, “Enjoy the Journey.”

“The life of a musician as an artist—it isn’t a destination. It’s very much a journey. You’re always learning something new,” added Heffley. “This is the journey we’re going through. Why not make it a fun, enjoyable journey?”