Bands prepare for jazz concert

On Oct. 21, the annual Fall Jazz Concert will be hosted in Spangenberg Theater from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The concert will feature the Terman Middle School and Jane Lathrop Stanford (JLS) Middle School bands, along with Gunn’s symphonic band and jazz ensemble. According to jazz director Keith Hunter, many styles of music will be played during the concert, including traditional jazz, funk, Latin and commercial/cartoon styles.

Organizers hope the concert will not be specifically different, but will instead be an improvement upon those performed in previous years. “I’m new this year, so I’m trying to keep the event as a whole basically the same, while improving the quality of our music,” Hunter said.

Senior Avner Kreps believes the assortment of pieces in the repertoire provides for the high entertainment value of the experience. “We will be performing jazz from all eras, ranging from bebop and fifty’s music, to categories from the modern era including funk, so the music will be fun,” he said.

According to sophomore Ajay Raj, bebop can be defined as a fast-paced instrumental modeled after a blues progression, while funk integrates a slow bass with an overarching groovy tune. He says the music the band will be performing was inspired by music group “Big Phat Band,” which utilizes similar cartoonish styles that will be integrated in the concert. The jazz ensemble met the members of the band and had a clinic. In addition, a few solos involving improvisation will be incorporated along with the individual pieces.

To prepare for the concert, Hunter and his students practiced their music and organized the logistics of the event. Hunter’s responsibility was to collaborate with the participants, along with the Terman and JLS band teachers. “For the planning, I coordinated the music schedule with the middle schools,” he said. “Together we choose music and specific pieces to feature.” For students, rehearsals were held after school, and Raj believes these practices were vital. “During preparation [students] became aware of what and how we are going to perform,” he said. “We would practice for a number of hours each week.”

According to Kreps, the brass section of the band stand out. “This year we have more experience in the brass section because there are a lot of upperclassmen,” he said.

Tickets will be sold at the door and can be bought online. Hunter recommends that parents and students go to have a new, fun experience with jazz music.

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