Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Jazziest band in town

By: Lexi Martin

   Every year, Ripley High School has a jazz band class, directed by Sherry Poole, and consisting of bass guitar, trombone, saxophone, and piano. The jazz band is a regular class that takes place during 7th period before the regular band class.

   The jazz band class started at the beginning of the new semester, but before the class started, the band would have after school practices. In order to be in the jazz band, you have to take the class, but you do not have to be in marching band.

   There are 15 people in the band, four alto saxophone players, two trombone players, two trumpet players, two tenor saxophone players, three percussionists, one pianist, and one bassist.

   “Jazz band has widened my skills with rhythms and counting,” sophomore bass player Fellar Fay says.

   Jazz band differs from marching band because it requires less exercise and has two different instruments: bass and piano.

   “Jazz band is a much more relaxed environment than concert band is,” freshman alto saxophone player Ashley Knox says.

   Sometimes the band does themed jazz performances. For instance, last year, the band had a Harry Potter themed show. This year the band is playing a piece called “A Short History of Jazz” which explains jazz music from the early 1920’s to contemporary big jazz bands. The band is also playing a song called “Crunchy Frog,” which is a favorite for the band and features several bass guitar solos. A third song they are playing is “Brass Attack” and, much like its name, it features the brass section mostly.

   “I like jazz band because sight reading is much easier than marching band, with fewer and more focused people,” Knox comments.

   The jazz band has played at most of the variety shows in the past and they are probably going to perform for us again. We look forward to seeing more of the jazz band in the future and that they are going to do.

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