Jazz band starts up season

Students learn new instruments along with new style


scott photo

Director Jeff Villarreal meets with jazz band students to discuss music choices before they start their season. Several of the students are learning new instruments.

    High school and junior high band students who want to work in Jazz Band this spring started practices last week, led by director Jeff Villarreal.

    “Both the junior high and high school band members can be in the jazz band,” Villarreal said. “It’s strictly voluntary.”

    Practicing on Monday and Wednesday afternoons until five each week, the band has been learning all the vital information needed to help them become a proper jazz group.

    “Right now, we are learning the history of jazz, and listening to jazz groups to get a sense of the music,” Villarreal said. “We’ll eventually be competing against other schools and go to other schools to perform.”

    The jazz band will be performing in a wide range of areas. Until then, they plan on meeting in the band hall to try and hone their talents.

    “We’ll be in the band hall, but will eventually perform elsewhere,” Villarreal said. “Maybe we will perform a lunchtime concert.”

    But to get to that point, they need to practice. New jazz instruments and players learning new parts means that there is plenty of work to be done before they are ready to perform in public.

    “The cool part is we actually got jazz instruments this year,” Villarreal said. “We have some flute players learning saxophone, and even a new guitar player.”

    Despite difficult new skills to learn, the students enjoy playing in the band. They like the end results and the rhythm of the music.

    “It’s really interesting to be able to see and perform a different style of music,” sophomore Abby Smith said. “I enjoy being able to experience this.”