In a fitting run-up to Jazz Festival Weekend in Sacramento, the GHS Middle School Band played its final Concert of the academic year, featuring both jazz offerings and jazz guest artists. The Sacramento Country Day School Middle School Jazz Group joined the Hawks on stage in the GHS multi-purpose room, to play four of their own charts and join the GHS Band for two more.
Introducing their bands, Mr. Rob Ringger and Mr. Bob Ratcliff explained that their acquaintance, and the genesis of the evening's joint concert, followed an introduction at Honor Band auditions, at which GHS's Kevin R. auditioned for, and was awarded, a seat. Congratulations Kevin!
SCDS Jazz opened the show with Take The A Train and it sailed ever-so-smoothly down the tracks. A clean ensemble sound and confident young soloists marked an impressive set for the guests; they were warmly received and their individual musicianship well appreciated by the entire audience. They played three more tunes prepared from their zero-period daily meetings (7:30 am!) before yielding the stage to the more R&B and Rock oriented Hawks players.
The contrast in style was unmistakable when GHS took the stage, and gave the evening its festival feel. Surf music and pop, with heavy rhythm and brass, branded the GHS set. Well executed in its own right, the GHS lineup included the Intro to the TV show The Office, and closed with the popular piece I Gotta Feelin' by the Black Eyed Peas. The signature power and energy of the GHS band was evident, and clearly working its magic on the players themselves, whose solos and passages exhibited the fun and intensity they are looking for when they select their tunes.
The energy of pop after the articulation of jazz made a delightful contrast and a fitting prelude to the joint GHS/SCD group's two-song performance, which was great considering the logistical challenges of putting two bands on the stage at once. Count Basie's One O'Clock Jump was both big and warm, and a great platform for soloists from both schools.
A great night of music for music's sake. Wonderful job to all of the musicians and instructors, and a special thanks to the Sacramento Country Day Middle School Jazz Group for making the trip to join us on the foothill campus.