Despite what the weather is like outside, we’re already halfway through our three months designated entirely for spring, which can only mean one thing: jazz.
Jazz band season took off once marching band closed out for the year in November, and the jazz band has been dutifully preparing ever since for their competitions and the event that so inconveniently occurs on Minithon (lots of the members had hoped to participate this year): championships. The aforementioned competitions include and were limited to our very own Gold N’ Blues Jazz festival back in March, the rest of the plans having been foiled by the inconvenient weather, aka the snow. But no matter, because weather is weather and the jazz band refuses to allow a little bit of cold, white flakes get in the way of our fun.
The success of the jazz band this year is the members’ biggest focus at the moment, especially with championships only a few days away (at the time that this article is being written), but lest they forget the overwhelming win at championships last year, taking home the biggest award of the night for their section: Best Jazz Band. An event like that is difficult to top.
Rob Opielski remembers this night well, considering that he’s been in the jazz band all four years of his high school career. He’s enjoyed it immensely, and this year is no different, as he is “very happy to be playing with so many dedicated musicians.” He’s hopeful, too, hopeful that championships will go well for everybody, and is currently aiming towards one of the prized solo awards that are given out at the end of the night. We have faith in you, Rob. Rob also intends on pursuing his musical career in college, eyeing classes at the Eastman School of Music to further his trumpet-playing abilities.
On the flip side, this is Molly Levine’s first year in jazz band, playing tenor alongside myself. I couldn’t do it without her. So far, it seems that the first year has treated her well, as she stated, “I love all the people and I’ve advanced so much as a musician,” which is really all you can ask for. She is looking forward to performing at her first championship competition, and as a collective jazz band, we can only hope that the experience will exceed her expectations.
Jazz band doesn’t stop after championships. The group will be performing at the school district’s arts night in early May, as well as the spring concert along with the rest of the music department. They also have a judged performance coming up in Hershey. And even if you’ve never listened to jazz before in your life, I encourage you to come out and listen to us, and maybe, you might want to give jazz a try.