BC Jazz program gets new support

Omar Oseguera, Photo and Multimedia Editor

The Bakersfield College Jazz program now has extra support with the Friends of BC Jazz organization.

Music professor Kris Tiner and history professor Randy Beeman have been planning the organization for over a year in an effort to provide scholarships, equipment, sheet music, travel and other opportunities for the BC Jazz program.

“The hope is that we would mobilize people who see the value and the potential in the jazz program, to make it tangible in some way, be it through volunteering at our events, providing financial support through our foundation account, or even just helping to get the word out about our performances,” said Tiner on the purpose of the organization.

Friends of BC Jazz is a group effort, and although Tiner and Beeman created the organization, each play their specific role and have a team behind them: the students.

“I am a booster. I go to the concerts every semester with my wife who is a jazz buff,” Beeman elaborated on his involvement.

“I am just trying to support the good work of Professor Tiner, who is a musical genius and a cultural treasure for Kern County.”

Tiner continued with describing his role and the role of his students, which he credits as the most important.

“I am the program director, which involves leading the ensemble and organizing our performance schedule,” said Tiner. “The students themselves do most of the work, not only rehearsing and performing the music but also setting up and tearing down equipment for each rehearsal and show, getting the word out about our performances, hanging posters, sending e-mails, you name it.”

The organization has had a positive response, with a donation of $10,000 from Columbine Vineyards in Delano, which was used to fund the Jazz equipment list.

“We have received a great deal of support from the Administration,” said Beeman.

“Specifically Mike Stepanovich at the BC Foundation and Interim President Nan Gomez-Heitzbeg, who is a longtime supporter of BC Jazz.”