“Jazz is one of the few styles of music that originated in this country, and we in the Shippensburg Area School District have the privilege of teaching and encouraging out students in this unique style that is such an important part of who we are as Americans” said Jennifer Enders, director of the 7th and 8th grade Jazz Hounds.
Her statement rang true Monday night during the 17th annual “Evening of Jazz” at the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Art Center. The concert was filled with talented musicians from across the Shippensburg Area School District as well as Shippensburg University Jazz Ensemble.
Matthew Strine, assistant superintendent of SASD, hosted the event and kicked things off by introducing the6th grade jazz band, directed by Mark Wilson. The talented6th graders recently performed at the Capitol. Tonight, their set list included an excellent rendition of “Norwegian Wood” by The Beatles.
Following the6th graders was the 4th and 5th grade Grace B. Luhrs chorus, directed by Emilee Stuart. The pint-sized jazzsters impressed everyone with “Jazz Is On Its Way” and “Route 66” – jazz hands included.
Following the GBLUES was Jennifer Enders and her 7th and 8th grade Jazz Hounds. The Jazz Hounds included many instruments not usually found in Jazz music including flutes and clarinets. Enders said she would accept any instrument in her band as long as the young musician is able to play along.
John Piper and The Accidentals followed the Jazz Hounds. The Accidentals are an audition-only chorus in the middle school. They have recently performed with Foreigner and plan to do so again when they come to the Luhrs Center on April 28.
Robert Maag’s High School Jazz band kicked off the high school portion of the show with “Fool Me Once” and “Backjump.” The Sharps, directed by Jennifer Deibler, followed the Jazz band with a few familiar faces pulling double duty in the Jazz Band and Singing in Sharps including Luke Hershey (guitar and tenor), Cole Souders (tenor sax and bass) and Noah Stewart (bass guitar and bass).
The SU Jazz Ensemble directed by Trever Famulare closed the night with a few pieces they were able to put together in just four practices. The Jazz Ensemble holds auditions in the fall and practices during the spring semester. Mackenzie Brouse blew the crowd away during her vocal performance of “Bewitched” and Justin Fenn impressed them with his trombone solo. The Jazz Ensemble will be performing at the Universal Studio City Walk next month, as well as at the Thought Lot in Shippensburg on April 17.