NOTHING BUT BASS. Senior Bryce Hayes fingers his bass for the song “Moanin'”. photo/Parker Fluke

On Tuesday, April 18, the jazz and percussion ensemble performed in the annual Jazz Under the Stars concert. The students performed musical numbers ranging from classical to swing and funk.

“This concert represents a payoff and opportunity for the students to show off all the hard work they’ve put in throughout the year,” percussion teacher Taylor Yozwiak said.  

The evening started with a percussion performance from the Concert Band, a group that primarily consists of freshman and sophomore students.  The group played “Mozambique”, which featured musical instruments such as the xylophone, bongos, cymbals and drums.  

Following the Concert Band’s performance, senior Natalie Menendez performed a marimba duet with Yozwiak entitled “Catching Shadows.  Continuing with the percussion section of the evening, the Symphonic Band played “Three Brothers.  The piece, which incorporated instruments such as the bongos, cowbell and snare drum, received straight superiors at state level competitions this year.  

The percussion segment closed with the Wind Ensemble’s performance of the song “Sacrificial Rite, which featured chimes, gongs, xylophones and bongos.

After a short intermission the concert resumed with the jazz section playing “Moanin’”.  Following that, senior Morgan Meese took center stage for a performance of “Angel Eyes”.  The ensemble departed from a more swing-oriented sound and performed a funk piece entitled “What is Hip?”.  The song featured solo performances from senior Micah Rojas on guitar, senior Jordan Bright on drums and sophomore Joseph Cinque on keyboard.   

Closing out the night, the percussion and jazz ensembles combined forces, and with Yozwiak on piano performed the song England.  After the last note faded, the ensembles received a wave of applause and a standing ovation.    

“I really enjoyed watching the soloist performances and being a part of the jazz ensemble in a professional setting like this,” junior Brenna Yokiel, bass, said.

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