Candice Anvari staff writer
Students who enjoy playing music exhibit their talents differently than those who play just when they’re told to. Jazz Band offers students the opportunity to grow as musicians and develop closer relationships with those who partake in the band.
Band and orchestra conductor Bill Bradbury took it upon himself to take on the leadership role of conducting the program every Thursday after school. Jazz Band expects to play about three to four performances during the spring semester to showcase the pieces they worked on during rehearsals. Their first performance of the semester was during Open House, in which they performed on the second floor patio for the prospective freshman class.
Students chose to join the program in order to play more than they do in school. Sophomore Kate Kotylar plays bass in orchestra, but wanted more opportunities to perform with her instrument, so she shifted her extracurricular schedule in order to join the program during second semester.
“I’ve played bass for years. Although I was enjoying playing in orchestra, I wanted to expand my knowledge on [sic] music. It’s a lot of fun,” Kotlyar said. “I heard about it [Jazz Band] from Mr. Bradbury. I have some friends in it and I just thought that I could try it out. I really enjoy it.”
Bradbury tries to add to his students’ learning experience by incorporating different genres and styles of music. They’ve explored music ranging from Latin, swing and even ballads.
“There’s teaching moments where we’re talking about how to play certain rhythms or certain styles and there are times where we work through and try to find the best kind of sound for each piece of music,” Bradbury said.
Sophomore Eli Ramer loved the jazz pieces that were incorporated into Jazz Band.
“I love playing music and jazz is always fun, so when I heard about Jazz Band I jumped at the idea,” Ramer said. “It also gave me an opportunity to get closer with some of my band friends as well as meet other musicians not in band.”
The program provided an experience that’s different than the classroom experience.
“Jazz band is completely voluntary. The people involved are people who really love music, and you can feel that in the atmosphere,” Ramer said. “There isn’t strict learning but there is definitely an acquisition of knowledge as we play different styles of music in varying compositions.”
Bradbury felt very “fulfilled” in seeing his students decide to participate in the program during their free time.
“You can tell they’re all satisfied in being able to play music like this. Something that’s different is that, though they play a lot together, there’s many individual parts in which one single student could be the only one playing that part,” Bradbury said. “There’s something a little like personal achievement when they’re able to play their part successfully and see how it flows with the rest of the group.”