Instructor: Mr. McNamara
Prerequisite: 1 year Concert Band and audition
The Jazz Band is a select group of students in grades 9-12. A standard 17 piece jazz band is formed out of auditioning/invited students: 2 alto saxophones, 2 tenor saxophones, 1 Baritone Saxophone, 4 trombones, 4 trumpets, and a standard rhythm section of 1 guitar, 1 bass guitar, 1 piano, and 1 drum set. The class studies a variety of jazz styles. Emphasis is placed on individual part playing, music reading, and improvisation. Students transcribe solos from some of the masters, learn applied music theory, and different styles of jazz, funk, Latin, and other related music.
Selection and placement in this group are based on the student’s ability level as determined by the Music Department. Entrance into this class is based on audition and invitation only. Auditions take place in January, and the personnel is set for the upcoming year.
All members of the Jazz Band are required to participate in Pep Band as well as prepare and perform the repertoire for Concert Band at other events. Members of Jazz Band (except rhythm section and saxophone) are encouraged, but not required, to participate in the Symphony Orchestra for extra credit. Rhythm section players who play orchestral instruments may opt to perform with the orchestra in lieu of the pep band requirement.
The Jazz Band performs at concerts, appropriate festivals, and community events. It is perhaps one of the most public and popular groups in the music department, and gets many requests to perform at school events throughout the year as either a full ensemble or in small combo ensembles. The Jazz Band is also the feature performing group at the music department's annual Funkraiser event, which raises funds to support and supplement the instrumental music department.