DePaul Playlist is back with a holiday edition! To create this special holiday edition of DePaul Playlist, the School of Music asked alumni to submit their favorite holiday tracks on which they’re featured as musicians. The result is a festive mix of jazz bands, brass ensembles and fusion/contemporary singles. Pop the playlist to the right on and enjoy some Blue Demon cheer this holiday season!
Joe Clark (MUS ’08, MM ’10), William Russell (MUS ’08, CER ’11), Davie Agee (MM ’10), Mark Hiebert (MUS ’10, MM ’13); Arcana
“O Christmas Tree”
Making his second appearance in the DePaul Playlist series, alumnus and faculty member Joe Clark joins fellow alumni William Russell, Davie Agee and Mark Hiebert to form the jazz ensemble Arcana. Featured on the group’s “The Sexxxy Xxxmas EP” from 2018, “O Christmas Tree” is an jazzier arrangement than you may have heard before. Joe teaches Aural Training and Musicianship at the School of Music. William is a member of the Boston Brass. David is a member of the United States Navy Band Sea Chanters. Mark is a top-call baritone saxophonist and an in-demand educator and musician in the Chicagoland area.
Anthony Bruno (MUS ’07)
For alumnus Anthony Bruno, the holiday season classic “Jingle Bells” has proven a runaway hit. Featured last December performing on the WGN Morning Show, Bruno’s rendition also appeared in an episode of the WB show “Legacies.”
Steve Wallace (MM ’13)
“Let There Be Peace on Earth”
Making his second appearance in the series alongside Joe Clark, Steve Wallace is a singer, composer, arranger, producer and multi-instrumentalist. He is a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Workshop for Composers as well as Theatre Now’s Musical Writers lab.
Edgar Gabriel (MUS ’99); Edgar Gabriel’s String Fusion
“Carol of the Bells”
Alumnus Edgar Gabriel (violin) performs, teaches and composes classical, jazz and fiddle music. He has worked with many world-renowned performing ensembles, including Cirque du Soleil, Steppenwolf Theatre and Chicago Opera Theater.
Ryan Hobbs (MUS ’06); Northside Brass
“O Holy Night”
With a few friends from the School of Music, alumnus Ryan Hobbs founded Northside Brass in 2011. Northside Brass Quintet is a non-profit organization comprised of Chicago-based freelance musicians. In 2019, they released their first Christmas album, entitled “Christmas Carols for Brass,” which was featured by WFMT Classical Music Chicago radio host Lisa Flynn.
Shane Jones (MUS ’04), Chris Neal (MUS ’02), Lance Loiselle (MUS ’02); The LowDown Brass Band
“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
The LowDown Brass Band, featuring alumni Shane Jones, Chris Neal and Lance Loiselle, is a uniquely strong representation of Chicago music culture. This talented all-horn band leans heavily on dancehall and street beat rhythm, with the energy of conscious hip hop, jazz, reggae and soul.
Walter Parazaider (MUS ’69, DHL ’08), Lee Loughlane, James P. Pankow; Chicago
“Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!”
It wouldn’t be an edition of DePaul Playlist without alumni Walter Parazaider, Lee Loughlane and James Pankow’s band: Chicago. Their 1998 Christmas album, Chicago XXV: The Christmas Album, was re-released under the title What’s it Gonna Be, Santa? with six new songs in 2003.