Fossil Ridge High School recently held a jazz band and percussion concert Thursday, May 4. For the duration of the concert the jazz band explored different styles of jazz; Latin, and funk were also embedded into the mix. As for the percussion, they showed off their skills in chamber ensembles engaging the audience with loud pieces.
Percussion performed first before the two jazz bands. Daniel Berard also introduced John Merriweather, who is going to be directing Fossil’s marching band’s percussion section next school year. The pieces done by the percussion were rhythmic and showed how various percussion instruments sound and how they can change the mood or tone of a piece. Elizabeth Choquette, a current junior at Fossil, explained how the percussionists practiced after school to work on their pieces that were performed for the concert. One of the most notable parts for the percussion concert was Ben Martin’s drum solo at the beginning of the last piece. Martin went on for a few minutes before the melody of the song came in with marimbas.
Jazz two then took the stage. Before each piece Berard gave a small introduction about each tune, what influences the music, how it worked with the students, and so on. Berard gave an introduction of how jazz is a different language in music, because there are a different set of rules, and jazz is in the realm of music where solos are made up on the spot. “Imagine writing a story in your english class with people watching as everything written is off the top of your head,” Berard explained to the audience. Jazz two had a variety of soloist featured in various pieces. The jazz band mainly focused on various styles including a Latin piece where hits avoided the typical 2 and 4’s, instead they were on ‘and’ counts which created a upbeat song to move to.
Jazz one also gave into exploration of different styles of American jazz, funk, and Latin. They performed a song called “Street music” which explored street music in a city. It was heavily inspired by funk, hip-hop, and the classic suit of American Jazz. Those who had solos made the most of the measures they had to ensure a show of new skills learned throughout their jazz band career.
The overall night was loud and upbeat, showing the skills of young musicians who put countless time and effort into their performance.