Jazz band blows judges away

by Daisy Creager| Staff writer

During the weekend of March 24, Jazz band competed in Texas A&M Kingsville and received a Superior rating for the first time since it has competed there. As well as their high rating, three of the band members earned ‘Outstanding Musician/All Star Jazz Member’ based on their performances.

“Over the course of the two days there they select a Jazz Band of 20 students that represent the very best players in the course of that time,” Jazz Band Director Alan Sharps said. “When students go to State Solo/Ensemble there are 8,000 students. They pick about 200 that are Outstanding Soloists out of that 8,000. This is like that. It’s a very high award.”

Jazz band, consisting of instruments such as trumpets, trombones, guitar, piano, bass, and drums is open to students outside of concert band.

“[Jazz band] has less people, it’s more specialized. There are people in jazz band that are not in regular band. There are students from orchestra, choir and theatre that are also participants,” senior Chris Surrano said. “As long as you are a musician and play a rhythm instrument you can audition.”

Senior Evan Hansen solos in the winter Jazz Band concert.

With a broad array of students and instruments and only 20 slots, Sharps is picky about who he lets in.

“This we would just come to rehearsal and play music, so we were playing with more people than would usually be in jazz band, and if they didn’t want you they just wouldn’t invite you back,” Surrano said.

With such selectivity, it’s no surprise how well the did at the Kingsville competition.

“We were hoping we would [do well], but we literally had about 24 hours to prepare that program,” flute player senior Kim Tempel said. “Different people that were in the music bailed at different times, so we needed new music. We had 24 hours and didn’t expect to do well, but we got sweepstakes; we’re really good at pulling things out of nowhere.”

Temple along with trumpet player Thomas Cardwell and led trumpet player Will Porath received the ALl Star Jazz Member Award.

“It’s normally just a jazz band instrument award. Flutes arn’t normally in jazz band; it’s just professional jazz bands that have them,” Temple said. “They recognize all of the primary jazz band instruments like Alto Saxophone. I was the last one to get announced and they said they wanted to recognize me for how well I did.”

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