Even though the manner in which we return to school is still up in the air, we are still in the planning stages for the jazz ensembles at BHS. We are writing to announce that there will be two ensembles this year: the Jazz Ensemble and the Jazz Collective. The Jazz Ensemble will consist of the following instrumentation with one student per part: 5 Saxophones, 4 Trombones, 4 or 5 Trumpets, Piano, Guitar, Bass and Drums. Students will be accepted into the ensemble through the audition process. Performing a wide variety of jazz music, from traditional big band standards to contemporary jazz, the BHS Jazz Ensemble is considered to be one of the top jazz ensembles in the region. The Jazz Ensemble performs on several programs each year, including participation in the Essentially Ellington Competition and the Mingus Jazz Festival. Past experiences have included a recording project, the adjudicated MAJE Big Band Festivals, and the Clark Terry UNH Festival. This group will be directed by Mr. Gable.
The Jazz Collective is open to any student interested in continuing their development in jazz. This group’s philosophy will be to introduce this exciting, uniquely American style of music to the player. The Jazz Collective will perform in select concerts throughout the school year, including the annual Jazz Night event, which typically includes one or more guest artists. This group will be co-directed by Ms. Lacasse and Mr. Gable. The instrumentation in this ensemble is flexible and can have more than one student per part. Although this group is non-auditioned, the expectations for quality and commitment are the same as Jazz Ensemble. It is the goal to eventually have this group participating in festivals such as MAJE and the Clark Terry UNH Festival. To participate in this ensemble, students will perform a pre-assessment in September. The purpose of the pre-assessment is simply to hear where each player is at this stage in their jazz career, and allow proper seating/placement within the ensemble. Information for this process will be provided at the start of school. If you have zero jazz experience, you will be fine! We are here to help you gain the tools and skill set you will need in order to advance in this style. Participation in either BHS Jazz Ensemble requires payment of the BHS Fine & Performing Arts Activities fee.
BHS Jazz Ensemble Auditions will take place the week of August 17th and will be conducted through Google Meet. Since the quality of the internet speed may vary, students will also record the audition with their phone and email an MP3 to Mr. Gable. Students interested in auditioning need to sign up through the following link by July 31st: Jazz Audition Sign-ups. Audition time slots will be made available the first week in August. The audition requirements are the same as the Northeastern Senior Districts. You can find this information on the Northeastern District website. If you do not have the Jazz Conception book, you can order one through jwpepper.com. In the meantime, we can provide you with a pdf copy and mp3.
For questions, feel free to contact Mr. Gable or Ms. Lacasse at any point. We look forward to meeting all of you and I hope you have a restful summer with your families.
Mr. Gable and Ms. Lacasse