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Student Reflection on the Kiwanis Jazz Fesitval

Vocal Jazz 2010The following comes to us from grade ten trombone player, vocal jazz member, and blogger at Gleneagle, Nicholas Van der Velden, after having been involved in both of our school’s trips to the Kiwanis Jazz Festival this week in Langley, British Columbia. You can check out the entirety of Nick’s post, Kiwanis, What the heck does it mean, anyway? by clicking this link. Enjoy!

I am not about to embark on a etymological crusade to find the meaning of the word “Kiwanis” (we trade, we share our talents, from the Native American language Otchipew).  Anyway, I now have it out of the way.The inspiration for this mislead was a trip by the Gleneagle Jazz Band to the Kiwanis Music Festival in Langley today.  We did well, performing the same songs as we did at Lionel Hampton in Idaho:  Four Brothers, The Chicken, The Very Thought of You, and The Puffy Taco.  And we did well:  The judges were impressed, one mentioned to our director, Mr. Trovato, that he’d like to have us o a show sometime.

We definitely did better than in Idaho, but not as well as our Spring Concert in March.  A lot of great stuff happened, like the trombone section (mine) not being ranked as the weakest, everyone being able to hear the piano, etc.  And we had a few problems, like playing too loud while someone soloed.  It left me with a nice feeling afterward, though, and that’s what really counts to me.

When we got to the performance hall, which was sort of an auditorium, there was nobody there.  Just two adjudicators and the sound guy.  About fifteen people came in as we set up, but it looked really pathetic in a theatre that could hae held 300.  So we played.  First, Four Brothers, a fast swing tune that’s basically a constant sax soli (soli = solo by a few people at once).  Then The Chicken, a funk style piece with a heavy groove.  The Very Thought of You is a Nat King Cole ballad (or possibly Frank Sinatra, I’ve found recordings of both), with a solo all the way through by Calvin, our lead trumped.  He switched to the softer flugal horn for this piece.  And to close, The Puffy Taco, a fast songo/salsa.  Lots of Latin.

And then the adjudicators took it in turns to try working with us.  The percussion section was surprised to learn of another solo at bar 43 in Four Brothers, the first one they knew of being at 59.  We had a great saxophone player work with us but I forget his name.  A lot of cool stuff happened.

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