UK student played as part of SEC Student Music Ensemble

Michael Ayers

Some students dream their goals will come true and others go make their dreams a reality. Kirby Davis’s dream became a reality this past week.

Kirby Davis, a UK student and Greenville resident, was one of six students selected to play at the SEC Student Music Ensemble this week in Atlanta, Georgia. Davis’s instrument is the saxophone.

Students achieve this accomplishment by hard work, of course, but also through the university. UK Director of Jazz Studies Miles Osland nominated Davis for the ensemble.

“It was a no brainer to pick Kirby,” Osland said. “He is in the top 1 percent of the students I’ve had in the past three years.”

Davis said he started playing his dad’s saxophone when he was growing up and couldn’t put it down.

Davis played the tenor saxophone on Friday night at the Southeastern Conference Legends dinner presented by AT&T. He also played on Saturday night at the SEC pregame hospitality party.

Davis and others in the ensemble had the opportunity to attend the Dr. Pepper SEC FanFare and the SEC football championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Davis said it was quite the experience to play with the ensemble.

“It was different,” he said. “We only rehearsed for a couple hours and then preformed.”

Davis said it was a great experience because he got to meet incredible musicians from other SEC schools.

This year’s ensemble was led by David D’Angelo, a jazz studies lecturer at the University of Georgia. But next year’s ensemble will be led by UK’s own Osland. Osland said he is extremely excited.

Osland said that he has been a professor at UK since 1989, and Davis is one of the best saxophonists he has seen. Osland also plays the saxophone, according to his UK biography.

Osland said this is the third year the SEC has done this. He said the ensemble is a really selective group and really good experience for the musicians.

The 2017 SEC Student Music Ensemble members are listed below:

Pate Brunner, Auburn University – Trombone

Kirby Davis, University of Kentucky – Tenor saxophone

Sam Edwards, University of South Carolina – Bass

Lazarrus Miller, University of Mississippi – Piano

Jim Shaw, Auburn University – Drums

Mason Soudelier, Louisiana State University  – Alto saxophone