There are two jazz ensembles in the band program. All Jazz groups are advanced enriching courses that explore those styles of music not normally associated with concert bands. Students will trace the jazz influence on all forms of music, especially the music of the “Big Band Era”. Special emphasis will be placed on scales, chords, blues progressions and other music theory as related to composition and improvisation. Students are placed in jazz ensembles in May of the previous school year. Adjustments in students’ schedules will be made in summer band and at the beginning of school in the fall to assure proper instrumentation in both jazz ensembles.
Jazz Ensemble 1
Highly qualified and dedicated students will be accepted in the advanced jazz ensemble, and then only by audition. Students will learn to perform music from the “Big Bands”, “pop and rock” from the fifties to today, and a variety of jazz styles with special emphasis on jazz, the one true American art form. This is an award-winning group that has won many honors over the years including many first place finishes in the Alamo Tournament of Bands and Southwest Jazz Festival, and also over 20 first place awards at the Fiesta Jazz Festival. The Jazz Ensemble also won “Best In Class” at the Sound Waves Music Festival in New Braunfels. We are very proud of this group and only the most outstanding team-oriented music students will be retained.
Jazz Ensemble 2
This is a Jazz enrichment class for those students who are not yet prepared for the advanced performance of Jazz Ensemble I, in one or more respects. There are no audition requirements for this class and every effort will be made to prepare each student for advancement to the next higher group. This is also a performing group that performs at concerts and festivals. For the last three or more years, Jazz 2 has placed 1st in their division at Fiesta Jazz Festival.