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Jazzing things up with the Jazz Band

Sophie Han '27

May 3, 2024

Mercersburg’s Jazz Band is a distinguished group of students with unique musical talents that have been showcased in many performances. Behind the scenes, Jazz Band members have devoted hours to practicing and refining their instrumental skills with astonishing perseverance and unwavering determination. Their outstanding performances on stage, such as in the Pops Concerts, spotlight the remarkable chemistry among the band members, the artistic brilliance in music, and the cohesion they weave through their shared love for music and commitment to quality. 

Students in the Jazz Band are deeply passionate about their instruments and committed to the highest quality of performance. Wil Kipe ‘27 noted, “Many members started playing their instruments even before they enrolled into Mercersburg. As for me, Jazz Band has been a chance for the majority of us to continue pursuing after I enrolled in Mercersburg.”  

Their unyielding consistency in practicing their instruments both in and outside of Jazz Band rehearsals represents significant dedication. Alex Van Ess ‘24 said, “Jazz Band definitely influences my life, not only because I take time out daily to practice the instrument but also because I get the chance to listen to more jazz music outside of the day, which I love.” 

Whether passionate about the instrument, the genre of jazz itself, or music in general, members of the Jazz Band always come together with a positive attitude. “If I was having a hard day, but I realized that I have Jazz Band at the end of my day, it would help brighten my day and keep me going through everything until Jazz Band,” Nora Smith ‘24 stated.

Alfred Ma ‘26 described his passion for playing his instrument in the group: “One thing I love about playing the euphonium in the Jazz Band is that it has a wide range of notes that it can make, which gives me the chance to experiment with different sounds and effects.” 

It is not like other bands or orchestras, where students have to follow a certain style or note. In comparison, a jazz band is a place to express the individuality and unique style of each student. This is another reason why I love our Jazz Band.” added Shami Beni, the Director of the Jazz Band. 

The freedom to try new things every time with their instruments expands their boundaries of musical expression and style, an aspect of the music that Emily Tan ‘24 loves: “Jazz Band allows me to play the instrument with my own style in comparison to the classical music pieces that I have worked with in the past. Knowing that the opportunity for improvisation both on and off stage allows me to own a piece with my own style is my favorite part of being in the Jazz Band.”

The remarkable chemistry and collaboration that the Jazz Band has established are another significant part of why it is so unique and successful. “Being in the Jazz Band has been an enriching experience because I get to meet so many new people with similar musical tastes yet different experiences, which makes the Jazz Band a great opportunity for me to understand different perspectives and have fun at the same time,” James Coors ‘27 said.

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