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SAAS Jazz Bands Participate in Mill Creek Jazz Festival

View Photo of Jazz Band 1 at End of Trimester Performances

Written by Jamie Williams ‘23

On Saturday, December 1, the Mill Creek Jazz Festival was held at Jackson High School. I was very excited to play. Jazz festivals are where multiple schools come together and play jazz music. Some are competitive, and some, like Mill Creek, are not competitive. The Middle School Combo and Advanced Jazz Ensemble were playing. The Middle School Combo is a jazz combo comprised of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders who practice at 7:30 AM on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week. Advanced Jazz Ensemble is the most advanced high school band.

For the festival, we arrived at SAAS at noon and took a bus to the festival. Once we arrived at the festival, we watched other schools play. It was interesting to see other schools play because they all had different styles of playing and different sounds. After we watched the other schools perform for a while, it was our turn to play. We went to a room to warm up; after playing for about twenty minutes, we were ready. We walked onto the stage and played three songs: “Catchin’ The ‘Train,” “Ballad For Zoe,” and “Hotsy Totsy.” All the songs went well.

In the first song we played, “Catchin’ The ‘Train,” Dao Ming Chau ’23 had a great Tenor Saxophone solo; the way he used the different scales in a melodic way was amazing. The last song we played was “Hotsy Totsy.” At the solo section Calvin Lundin ’23 played a four bar solo and then Peter soloed for the next 4 bars. The way both Calvin and Peter worked together musically was incredible.

After we played, we went to a clinic. In the clinic, we talked about our performance and learned some different techniques. After the clinic, we watched Advanced Jazz Ensemble. I was blown away by how well rehearsed they were. After watching them play, I wanted to practice a lot more so I could sound as good as they do. Once the Advanced Jazz Ensemble finished their clinic, we took the bus back to SAAS and went home.                                                                                                

This festival was a great experience for me because I was able to see other bands my age play and get constructive feedback from someone outside the SAAS community.

Above: Advanced Jazz Ensemble performing at End of Tri Performances in November.
Below: Middle School Jazz Combo performing at the Mill Creek Jazz Festival. 

View the Middle School Combo Performance at Mill Creek Jazz Festival