Few small college music departments have the chance to debut a new piece by a celebrated composer. Next week, the Amherst College Jazz Ensemble will celebrate 10 years of commissioning original works from well-known artists.

The McBride ’59 Jazz Celebration will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the McBride Commission Series, named for alumnus and jazz musician Robin McBride ’59. McBride and other alumni will return to Amherst next weekend to hear the latest commission in the series and to honor the history of big band jazz at the College.

8 Railroad St, Hadley
Open 5PM-1AM Mon, 12PM - 1AM Tue-Fri, 11AM-1AM Sat-Sun

Amherst women’s tennis won four of five on their California road trip, only dropping a 5-4 decision to Div. I Cal State Fullerton. The Jeffs entered the week ranked fourth in Div. III and picked up 6-3 wins over No. 5 Claremont Mudd-Scripps and Pomona-Pitzer, and swept both Concordia and Whitman, 9-0. Seniors Gabby Devlin and Jordan Brewer won all five of their matches at the top of the doubles lineup.

The Amherst women’s basketball team’s quest for a 2014 NCAA Championship ended on Friday, March 14 in an overtime loss to Ithaca. Although the Jeffs beat Itacha in the regular season, Amherst fell just three points short in a hard fought battle.

Amherst controlled the game early, finding themselves up 25-13 in the middle of the first half. However, Ithaca battled back going on a 12-6 spurt and reduced the deficit to 31-25 with six minutes left in the first.

Amherst men’s basketball’s hopes of repeating as national champions came to end on Friday night in Salem, Va. at the hands of archival Williams in the Jeffs’ second straight trip to the Final Four and sixth appearance in the national semifinals since 2004. In the week leading up to Salem, Amherst earned two convincing victories over Plattsburgh State in the Sweet 16 and against Morrisville State in the Elite Eight to set up a match with Williams for the fourth time of the 2013-2014 season.

Before I begin, I would like to start out by apologizing in advance for my list. Because I go into every summer ready to watch the next superhero, action or comedy flick, I thought it best to make a list that not only reflected those genres, but also provides films that many viewers might avoid seeing. Next time, I will scour Netflix for “under-the-radar” movies of all types for you all to check out. But, in the meantime, let’s start the list.

As Amherst students, we’re pretty spoiled with theater, dance and music performances, art exhibits and cultural activities. With the Mead Art Museum, regular shows put on by our on-campus a capella groups, and various other arts events, sometimes it seems that there’s little need to leave the College to get a culture fix. Though supporting on-campus groups by attending their concerts and recitals is great, sometimes escaping the Amherst bubble seems necessary and a change of pace feels sorely needed. Luckily, the Pioneer Valley is ripe with venues to see high-quality music and theatre.