Tuesday, September 26, 2017

New trimester brings new class

With Wednesday came schedules. And with schedules came change. Granted, neither is concrete yet, but follow along.

Beginning second trimester, Hamilton High School is offering those so musically inclined an opportunity to enroll in Jazz Band. While Jazz Band has been offered as an extra-curricular activity in years past, the class came about partially to accommodate musicians’ schedules.

“[Jazz is] another avenue of music that hasn’t been explored here yet,” said Mr. Joseph Herrick, director of the new program. “It’s a unique style.”

The class will offer students a chance to play a variety of selections ranging from swing music to funk, even including Latin and “a little bit of rock”. By playing these styles, Herrick hopes that the class will improve students’ understanding of various cultures and foster creativity.

“It uses a lot of improv,” said Herrick. He hopes that the class will help musicians in developing their creative and improvisational skills, and that improvisation will be actively worked into the curriculum.

Along with improv, these genres are set apart by their wide array of instruments. The assortment includes instruments common to the Symphonic Band as well as instruments such as guitar, bass, and piano.

Improvisation and culture aside, the curriculum will also place a new emphasis on performance, which “will be more unique” according to Herrick. This will be partially due to the more intimate nature of the music and partially because the venues the Jazz Band will entertain expand beyond that of the Symphonic Band. It is expected they will visit such classy establishments as area elementary schools.

Anyone interested in the class is welcome to change their schedule and join so long as they “play an instrument that fits for Jazz Band” said Herrick.

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