Jazz Band Takes First in Toronto

Jazz Band Takes First in Toronto

In a small band room, hidden within the twisting hallways of the South Lakes High School Fine Arts Department, the jazz ensemble practices for an upcoming dinner concert.

They play swing music, big band, Latin tracks and even some rock tunes. The concert, called Jazzmatazz, is scheduled for Friday May 17, 7 p.m., at the Reston Community Center. But the band members aren’t quite ready to perform.

"They have a remarkable way of making me feel nervous right up until the night of the performance," said director Grayson Fore.

But recently Fore hasn’t had much reason to be nervous about the band’s performance. The band recently traveled to Toronto for a jazz competition, and took first place.

"It was kind of funny, because we didn’t play the best we could," said sophomore trumpet player Peter Nyren. "But we didn’t play terrible."

Fore said many members of the jazz ensemble get into jazz through their parents.

"WHEN I WAS a kid, my parents always had this stuff on," Fore said.

Sophomore Daniel Thayer, who plays saxophone, said he likes the freedom of jazz music.

"Jazz actually moves," Thayer said. "It’s not like classical, where you just sit there and play chords."

There are 18 members in the jazz ensemble, including trumpet players, trombone players, a piano player, a guitar player and drummers.

The upcoming dinner concert is the fourth concert of its type. Tickets are $17 each, and the money goes directly to the South Lakes Band Department. "Some of these instruments are as old as this school," said Kathi Robinson, from the South Lakes Band Boosters.

She said the boosters have a long wish list for new band equipment. There is a set of brass bells that need to be replaced, and the school needs a large directors stand, for marching band practice in August.

"The director needs to be above the marching band so he can see where they’re moving," Robinson said.

RESERVATIONS are needed to attend the dinner. To reserve a spot, send a check to 2430 Bramblebush Court, Reston, VA 20191. Tickets will be picked up at the door on the night of the concert. For more information, call 703-295-0821.