By Alice McNoe | Posted: Sunday November 19, 2017
The Jazz band has had a very fun time this year.
We have developed into a band that loves performing and has a wide repertoire we can play. At the end of the year we are still working on new songs which keeps the band interesting all year round. The first part of the year was devoted to introducing new members to jazz playing and quickly building up a few songs to a standard we can perform while focusing on creating a big band style and sound to our playing. This has allowed us to work on harder songs later in the year while having a repertoire that we can perform. The second part of the year has been full of performances and we have been working on improving aspects of our playing such as improvising solos. This has made jazz band a fun experience where we have enjoyed playing many performances at different venues. This year, we have busked at the railway station, played at a fundraising quiz night, the Dunedin electric vehicle big day out and the Port Chalmers seafood festival as well as many more performances when we were on a week long trip to the Southern Jam youth jazz festival.
The second term and the start of the third term were spent preparing for our trip to the Southern Jam, a youth jazz festival based in Marlborough, where we won a silver award. This trip has been the highlight of the band’s year. The busy week long trip comprised of a competition, workshops and many gigs at local schools and event centres. The first day we were in Marlborough was when we had our competition performance; as it was only the second performance of the trip we were all pretty tense. After we played our half hour set we had a workshop where the individual judges gave tips to each section of the band. This workshop was a great learning experience for everybody and for the rest of the week we focused on working on these tips as well as getting better at performing. We improved a lot over the course of the trip with each performance being more energetic and sounding better than the last. The performances were high energy and lots of fun. We had primary school children dancing and singing along to the more well-known songs we played. Some members of our band even did some dancing of their own. As well as playing a lot of jazz we enjoyed listening and meeting many of the other high school jazz bands from around the South Island and seeing what they were doing.