The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

The Jazzman Cometh

Well, actually, I suppose the title of this blog post should have been “The Jazzman Cameth” but that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it… As I have said many times before, I am proud to consider myself a geek of all things. I have a particular fondness for books and movies, but I also love science fiction in general, British television, anything to do with Scouting, the theater stage, and music.

I started playing the trumpet when I was in fifth grade, due largely to the fact that two of my older brothers played it and my best friend was starting trumpet as well. From that time onward, for the next eight years or so, I performed with concert bands, marching bands, pep bands, mixed brass ensembles, symphonic bands, and, getting to the point of this post, jazz ensembles. During my freshman year of high school, I was in the Varsity Jazz Ensemble. My sophomore year I put down my trumpet and picked up the sound board (figuratively speaking). For the next three years I was the Chief Sound Engineer of the Washington Community High School Varsity Jazz Ensemble. (In all seriousness, my role was to make sure the microphones were set up correctly and to help the girl who played the electric bass keyboard get her equipment together.) When I was a senior in high school I joined the newly-formed Junior Varsity Jazz Ensemble just because I could and I wanted to play jazz music again.

I continued to stay active with instrumental ensembles while in college and then joined the Parkland Wind Ensemble during my last semester at the University of Illinois. Due to scheduling conflicts I eventually had to drop out of the Wind Ensemble and am currently in the middle of my longest break from being in an ensemble of any sort in over ten years. (There were two years that I did not perform with any groups while I lived in California.)

All of this is just a long way to say that among my many passions is music. So I was really excited to learn that we were going to have a special assembly this afternoon featuring a local jazz ensemble. The students really enjoyed the music and I loved hearing songs that I have actually performed, like Basin Street Blues and It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing. Following the assembly, the students finished up a project we had started in the morning and I let them listen to some instrumental jazz music. I know that our fine arts teachers are working with community resources to bring other special guests to the building. I can’t wait to see who we have visit next!

(Sorry the post is up so late. We had some guests over for dinner so I didn’t get a chance to get it up earlier.)


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