Jazz bands hold concert in band room, prepares for Essentially Ellington

By Annika Prom, Lifestyle Editor

The MTHS jazz bands experienced a change of atmosphere as they held their regular concert in the band room rather than in the theater on Thursday, Jan. 12.

Due to the drama production gearing up for the upcoming musical Zombie Prom, the theater was filled with stage sets.

Each piece performed by Jazz Ensemble 1 during the concert was recorded for the band to review later on in preparation for Essentially Ellington (EE), a competition in which bands selected through recorded auditions receive the opportunity to attend workshops and perform in New York.

The room quickly filled up with audience members, prompting parents and students to bring in more chairs for viewers.

The bands performed and recorded a variety of different sounding pieces to showcase a range of their abilities in hopes of creating the perfect recorded performance to submit for a chance to attend EE.

Among these songs was “Manteca,” a performance that stole the show. The song opened with the performers singing a chant, followed by fluid transitions from a loud Latin jazz feel to a swing jazz feel. During the performance, sophomore Kieran Faris awed the crowd with a drum solo that demonstrated a different interpretation of the mood of the song.

In Jazz Ensemble 2’s performance, freshman Ryan Baca said he took advice from other players to improve his skills for the concert.

However, Baca showed some of his personality as he joked, saying the only practice he did for the concert was four hours of playing the night before.

“That’s about all I did,” he said.

He felt this concert was a unique experience due to the different setting. The highlight of the concert was “[being] closer to the people who are listening,” Baca said.

Baca felt his solo in “Tenor Madness” was his personal best of the night.

“I liked ‘Tenor Madness’ better because I didn’t keep the same tempo,” Baca said.

Baca liked the change in tempo because it switched up the flow of the music.

Although he was proud of his solo, Baca felt it was impacted by his underbite. He hopes to prevent his underbite from altering his performance when he plays in the future.

The next band performance will be on Saturday, Jan. 28 at a jazz festival in Vancouver, Wash.