Utah State’s music department comes out swinging with Big Bands concert

The Caine College of the Arts presents the Big Bands concert Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Utah State University’s Performance Hall.

The Jazz Ensemble and the Jazz Orchestra will be performing standards like “Some Skunk Funk” by the Brecker Brothers, “Thunderbird” by Ray Anthony and “Central Park North” by Thad Jones. The bands include students and faculty members lead by Jon Gudmundson and Greg Wheeler.

“Max Matzen, our newest faculty member, will be doing a flugelhorn solo on Central Park North,” Gudmundson said. “The song becomes this really slow ballad then Max turns it into a raunchy, backbeat-funky thing.”

The groups include five saxophones, four trombones, five trumpets, piano, guitar, bass and drums. Students are seated by how well they played in auditions at the beginning of the school year.

“This concert facilitates music for people who aren’t necessarily into jazz,” said Parker Robinson, a baritone saxophonist. “It’s really our take on this kind of music — we’re making conscious decisions about how we’re playing.”

This is the second of four concerts the bands will perform this year.

“It’s one of the few chances to hear a big band play,” said Mike Benson, a tenor saxophonist. “Outside of universities and probably New York, big bands really aren’t a thing anymore.”

The cost is free for USU students, $5 for USU faculty and staff, $8 for senior citizens and children and $10 for general admission.


Legal, Policies and Ethics: Secure Your Social Media Presence

Your Online Presence

Social media has given humans another venue to express opinions, share ideas and show where you are on the map.  With all of these great tools literally at our figer tips, do many people think about their privacy? Or do many people simply not care who sees what they are doing online?  These questions have become relevant within the past year, so relevant that Congress is talking about it.  Mobile apps have been scrutinized recently over privacy settings.  Information on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare can tell others about your location and what you are doing.  Does big brother need to take charge and monitor what is said online, or can we take care of our own online privacy?

Who’s Reading

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) paid more that 11 million dollars to General Dynamics for a system to monitor Facebook and Twitter.   This system primarily searches for content that “adversely reflect” on the government.  Lawmakers feel that this system is necessary for government and law enforcement agencies to prevent potential threats.  Other lawmakers feel that this system infringes on First Amendment rights.  The real question is whether the government is monitoring the what, instead of the who.  Many criminal organizations have moved to social media to recruit and spread the word.  There is a need to monitor what is happening online, but does it need to be policed?

What Other Can See

Facebook, Google and Twitter all contain information about you, your name, birthday, contact information and location.  Many of these social media sites sync with mobile devices that update address books.   Users are not aware of what others can see about them.  Most users are not aware of how to change privacy settings, so they can limit what is seen about them online and on mobile contact lists.  Avi Charkham has created a website that contains a link to Facebook which will block mobile devices from accessing your information, thus helping those in the dark.  The only way to be completely invisible is to revoke all apps from Facebook and hide all contact information.  Doing so would be counter intuitive to what Facebook is for, if you ask me.

What You Can Do

Maintain your online presence before someone else does!  Be smart and be savvy.  Limit what can be seen about you and be familiar with the privacy settings on all of the social media sites you use.  Make sure you are not posting questionable content that could get you in a bad situation.  Most of all, treat social media as if you were talking to somebody face-to-face.  Have fun and most of all be safe while using social media.


Viral Videos: What makes a video viral?


We have all seen our fair share of viral videos and maybe we have even questioned what makes a certain video viral.  There are many things that need to happen in order to make a video viral.  In 3 Things Any Video Needs to Go Viral and How Videos Go Viral these steps are covered, but they are not sure fire answers to creating a viral video.

What makes a video viral?

To get a video to go viral “is more like a science than an art.”  There are many factors that need to be taken in account.  Is the content good?  Does the video resonate with people and what would make them want to share it?  Where should I post it, so it gets more traffic?  People want to see things that resonate to them.  Much of the entertainment people consume is entertainment that mirrors their own lives.  People are more likely to watch a video that is shared to them by a friend than a video they found online.  What does this mean?  It means your video needs to be able to be shared easy and effortlessly, for it to become viral.  Also, there are more video sharing sites besides YouTube.  Look into what options are out there for your video and what kind of market you want to share it in.

Who’s watching viral videos?

In How Videos Go Viral, it says that 18-34 year old adults are the majority of people watching and sharing viral videos.  Apart from that, 57% of the video sharing is done by women.  Most of the video watching and sharing is done on Facebook, rather than on some “tube” site.  People from the Southern part of the United States watch more videos than any other demographic, but people in the Midwestern part of the United States share more videos online.  These kinds of figures can help give you an idea on where you should post your video and what kind of content is in it.


Like I said earlier, following a process of steps and reading blogs will only help your chances of creating a viral video.  It it up to the people to decide whether or not you have something viral or not.  Original and interesting content will help your chances of success.

Blogging: Is it Social Media?

Blogging and social media, are they different or are they the same thing?  Many patrons of the world wide web would say they are completely different things.  Before you pick a side to this ongoing battle, hear me out first.  I found two articles online that discuss the different sides to the argument.  In, Since When Are Blogs Not Social Media?, Copyblogger author Brian Clark discussed the many reasons why blogs are a form of social media.  And in, Blogging: Social Media is Not Only About Social Media Sites, Techipedia author Tamar Weinberg discusses how blogs can create traffic for your organization.

Social Media and Social Networking

Social media and social networking, are they just synonyms for each other?  No! They are completely different and are completely dependent of each other for web survival.  Let me break it down for you.  Social media as defined by Wikipedia is: “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.” Whereas, Social Networking is defined by Wikipedia as: “an online service, platform, or site that focuses on building and reflecting of social networks or social relations among people, who, for example, share interests and/or activities.”  As one can see, they both are similar, kind of like how blogs and Facebook are similar, yet are very different.


Blogging is “in” and does not seem to be going away anytime soon.  Blogs give people a voice, a way to express themselves that did not exist 20 years ago.  Long gone are the days where everyone got their news from Walter Cronkite on the CBS evening news.  People are hungry for information and most importantly, fast information.  Blogs are unique, unlike traditional websites, in the way that readers can comment and discuss about what is posted.  Blogs are a form of social media, there is no way around it, it is the core of every blog.  Along with the social aspect, a blog needs to have quality content.  Content is crucial, nobody wants to read rubbish.  People want to share what they know and what they have read.  Give people a reason to read your blog, give them quality content.  Having quality content will drive traffic to your blog.  Do not just limit yourself to blogging.  Use social media websites to promote your blog.


I believe that blogs are a form of social media and social networking.  They may not be structured like traditional social networking websites, but they serve a similar purpose.  Blogs give people a place to discuss, learn and share, no different than what Facebook and Twitter offer its users.  Excluding one form of social media because of its form is absurd. Being connected and posting quality content is the name of the game when it comes to blogging.  Have a strong online presence that is full of quality content and well managed.