Jazz band and a cappella to perform for community

Senior+Patrick+O%27Brien%2C+Sophomore+Jake+McTee%2C+and+Junior+Sam+Oats+all+play+the+trumpet+in+the+Jazz+band.+
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Jazz band and a cappella to perform for community

Senior Patrick O'Brien, Sophomore Jake McTee, and Junior Sam Oats all play the trumpet in the Jazz band.

Senior Patrick O'Brien, Sophomore Jake McTee, and Junior Sam Oats all play the trumpet in the Jazz band.

Shae Daughtery

Senior Patrick O'Brien, Sophomore Jake McTee, and Junior Sam Oats all play the trumpet in the Jazz band.

Shae Daughtery

Shae Daughtery

Senior Patrick O'Brien, Sophomore Jake McTee, and Junior Sam Oats all play the trumpet in the Jazz band.

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Jazz music will fill the commons at the second annual Java and Jazz concert on Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. The jazz band will perform with a cappella choir at the free event, and parent volunteers will sell coffee and desserts.

“Most of the music is from the 1940s era of big band,” band director Paul Heuer said. “It gives us the opportunity for our side of it to play a bunch of jazz standards from that time period that feature vocalists that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to play. There are [some songs] that we wouldn’t get to play if we didn’t have singers.”

Senior Jack Supan plays in the jazz band. However, this year he joined a capella, so he will switch between playing and singing during the performance.

“It’s been fun, and it’s been kind of weird,” Supan said. “I have to sing and play and switch between songs, and I didn’t have to do that last year, but it hasn’t been challenging. I just have to learn it and do it.”

The event is non-exclusive, Heuer said. Directors and parent volunteers advertised it around the community, including Heritage Ranch and Fairview Estate Life Magazine.

“We were thinking there may have been 300 people last year,” Heuer said. “I think people enjoyed it. We want to get people from the outside to come in, too. We like to see students and community members come to it.”

This is the only time of the year the jazz band plays music from the 1940s. Music featured in their end-of-the-year concert will have been written in recent years. But, according to Heuer, the music students will perform for the Java and Jazz concert is important for them to learn.

“This is that time of year that is such a big part of the history of big bands that you need to play those standards,” Heuer said. “We get to play some classics. Everyone who plays jazz needs to know those standards, and then we move on after that.”

The band began practicing the 16 tunes before Christmas, and they split up into sections during class to break down the material. Since there are so many songs, it takes two days just to touch on each of the pieces during class. This year will be sophomore trombonist Kyle Easley’s second performance at Java and Jazz.

“Since it’s my second year in jazz band, I’m super excited to be playing such a cool concert with a cappella because both groups are very unique in their own right,” Kyle Easley said. “Trombone is something I really enjoy, and it’s just a really special experience for me. Plus, jazz music is more than half of the music I listen to, so it’s all pretty important to me.”

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