ScholarShift Stories: The New Standards

November 15, 2017

Students engage in a workshop with the band prior to their evening Acoustic Roots performance. 

Shattuck-St. Mary’s students had the opportunity to attend an on-stage workshop led by members of The New Standards in Newhall Auditorium on Thursday, November 9 as part of a ScholarShift module. 

During the workshop, band members discussed their collaborative process when arranging a song and performed several numbers up close for attending students. The student group, which included members of SSM’s Wind Ensemble, were particularly interested in the vibraphone, an instrument they were not as familiar with playing or hearing.

The New Standards are comprised of Twin Cities musicians and raconteurs Chan Poling (The Suburbs) on piano, John Munson (Trip Shakespeare, Semisonic) on bass, and Steve Roehm (Billygoat, Electropolis) on vibraphone.

Just as mid-century American jazz musicians reimagined “old standards,” the trio creates jazz arrangements of recognizable hits and deep tracks alike, drawn from diverse musical genres ranging from pop, glam, and soul, to rock and roll, including songs from Dan Hicks to David Byrne, Bowie to Beck. Formed in 2005, their music makes room for solos and arrangements with the freedom of jazz, and yet never fully abandons the modest soul of pop and rock. 

Students who attended the afternoon workshop also came to The New Standards public concert later in the evening, as part of the Acoustic Roots Music Series.

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