Colloquy Downeast Blue Hill Maine

Colloquy Downeast

Spirited Conversations in Great Company

FacilitatorScott Cleveland
Date & TimeTuesdays, January 8, 15, 22, 29
4:00 – 6:00 pm
LocationHoward Room, Blue Hill Public Library

Composing in Fast Motion: The Improvisational Spectrum 

The goals of this colloquy are: 1. Giving both musical and non-musical participants a historic overview of different approaches to improvisation under the large headings of Blues and Jazz; 2. to interact with a diverse “discography” of improvisation through guided listening (CD’s and YouTube); and 3. to actually do improvisation. These goals will be achieved through a roughly equal mix of presentation, interactive discussion, weekly guided listening assignments and in-class guided listening, live demonstration and participation. 

Scott Cleveland is a lifelong composer/singer/pianist/music educator/church musician. He holds degrees in Music Education, Music Theory/Composition and a M.Div. from BU. He has several solo albums and performs locally in numerous duos/trios/quartets and as music director for many local productions. He is on the Adjunct Music Faculty of UMA, and is the Music Director for The Deer Isle Congregational Church. 

  ▼ Syllabus/Reading


Listening List: All of the following can be found on

Session #1:

Listening Goal #1: Compare and contrast the improvising approach of these four Blues guitarists. How are they similar? How are they different?

Listening Goal #2: To what extent do they improvise (vary) the sung melody?

Robert Johnson, “Cross Road Blues”

Cream, “Crossroads”

B.B. King, “Why I Sing the Blues”;  B.B. King: “The Thrill is Gone”

Stevie Ray Vaughn: “The Sky is Crying”


Session #2:

Louis Armstrong and the Hot Five: “Hotter Than That”

Louis Armstrong and the Hot Five: “Struttin’ with Some Barbecue”

James P. Johnson: “Carolina Shout”

Count Basie Orchestra: “88 Basie Street”

Count Basie Orchestra: “Taxi War Dance”

Duke Ellington Orchestra: “Take the A Train”


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  ▼ Registration


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We aren't currently accepting bookings for Composing in Fast Motion.

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