High school hosts variety of jazz ensembles

On Feb. 4, the high school will host a showcase featuring a variety of jazz ensembles. The Holmes Junior High and Peet Junior High jazz bands play a free concert, followed by performances by the high school’s Jazz One and Jazz, Too! instrumental ensembles with a set by Vocal Jazz in between.

In a night celebrating an oft-forgotten musical genre, Jazz One director Kyle Engelhardt acknowledges the beneficial opportunity to showcase the school’s own talent to a diverse audience. “The jazz show is a great chance to see the jazz bands and jazz choir. We have some of the top jazz groups in the state, and it’s a neat chance to see these guys play and perform in their home environment. It’s a fun night, and the selections for all the groups are very audience friendly and feature almost everyone at some point or another.”

Among the featured musicians are senior Sarah Welter on “Deedle’s Blues,” a grammy-nominated arrangment for Diane Schuur and the Count Basie orchestra, and senior Ian Abbott on Duke Ellington’s “Isfahan.”

Senior trombonist Nathaniel Welshons also appreciates the chance to provide peers with an entertaining lesson in a less mainstream musical genre. “I feel like a lot of high school students don’t listen to jazz typically, and it’s really interesting because it uses melodies and rhythms that aren’t as common in more popular forms of music, so it helps you be a well-rounded listener.”

Performances by the junior high jazz ensembles begin at 5 p.m. and are free to the public. Performances for the high school jazz ensembles begin at 7:30. Tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for students.

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