Jazz Band: More Than Just a Band

Members+of+the+Seattle+Prep+Jazz+Band+perform+at+their+Winter+Concert.
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Jazz Band: More Than Just a Band

Members of the Seattle Prep Jazz Band perform at their Winter Concert.

Members of the Seattle Prep Jazz Band perform at their Winter Concert.

Members of the Seattle Prep Jazz Band perform at their Winter Concert.

Members of the Seattle Prep Jazz Band perform at their Winter Concert.

Clara Malone, Staff Writer

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High School Jazz band. When someone first hears those words, they might think of a jazz band that practices a few times a week, performs occasionally, and isn’t very connected. However, the Seattle Prep jazz band is much deeper than that. They are a group of talented, and devoted musicians with all different musical backgrounds.

The Seattle Prep Jazz band performs one to two times per semester, and always enchants the crowd. However, Jazz Band is more than just a band, it’s a family.

Ms. Bost, the Jazz band (and pep band) teacher says that jazz is “the complexity of classical music with the added challenge of improvisation–making up melodies over a chord progression.”

This class is one of the many window classes that Prep offers. Saxophone player Kevin la ’21, says, “I decided to join because I love music and just the atmosphere; it doesn’t really feel like a band, more like a family.” La shares how jazz band brings everyone together. “The atmosphere makes you want to join and play, at first I was like a really shy player, I didn’t try to take many solos, but after my first solo it was kind of like, I got this, and I improved and got better.” La shows how after joining Jazz band he was able to become more confident in his music.

My favorite part of teaching jazz band is that moment when everything clicks.  We will sight-read a brand-new tune and it will sound fragmented for a couple of rehearsals; then one day shortly thereafter, the tempo will gel and the players will swing hard and it’s like magic–it starts to come together!  That’s always a special day, when everyone can hear the progress.” Says Ms. Bost of how and exciting it feels when a certain song comes together.

Seattle Prep Jazz Band also gets to experience playing many kinds of music. “For almost every show, I try to bring together many sub-genres of jazz:  swing, blues, Latin, funk, and soul.  I love stepping outside our comfort zone and working on Brazilian music, rock, or hip hop.” Ms. Bost shows how the Band members not only get to play Jazz music but can experience with many different genres.

“Before Jazz band I would really slack off and wouldn’t really want to play but now I would say I’m delving into more creative tones within my music.” Says La of how the many styles of music help to bring more creativity into the program.

 “It was just kind of different from usual band experiences. It kind of felt like more open space to like be yourself and express your creativity through solos, types of playing, articulation, etc.” La explains how the Seattle Prep Jazz Band allows him to be himself and get to experience things that he wouldn’t normally get to in another band.

Jazz Band helps to bring in creativity and new experiences to students at Prep. They also get performance experiences, and learn things to prepare themselves for college. The students who participate in Jazz band get to learn new things, make new friends, and have fun experiences, which can be a good break for students at a school as rigorous as Prep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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