Jazz Ensembles show off their shades of blue


photo by Victoria Tomeo

Brad Kuperman conducts the Jazz I Ensemble for the Shades of Blue concert on Friday, Nov. 20.

On Friday, Nov. 20, the jazz ensembles performed songs like Harold Arlen’s “Stormy Weather” and George Gershwin’s “Someone to Watch Over Me” for the Shades of Blue concert.

Performers practiced in class, fourth period for Jazz II and second period for Jazz I, starting in August and were also expected to practice individually, especially those who had solos.

“I think it was an exciting performance,” senior John McHale said. “More people showed up than usual and that’s always nice to see.”

Blue lights covered the stage as Jazz II, conducted by Brian Kuperman, walked out and started to play the first song of their six-song set, Ned Washington’s “On Green Dolphin Street.”

Throughout the concert, for both classes, some minor technical difficulties occurred, including a malfunctioning microphone and issues with the drum set; however, the performers made it to their last song, Bob Carleton’s “Ja-Da,” where junior Isabella Guevara and freshman Daniel Gonzales had solos.

Jazz I, conducted by Brad Kuperman, featured many seniors such as McHale and also had a six-song set after a short intermission before they came out onto the blue stage playing the upbeat “Sing, Sing, Sing,” written by Louis Prima.

Most of the performers, such as the saxophone and trombone players, took a short break during the song “Someone to Watch Over Me” while chorus teacher Victoria Rathbun sang but then played with the whole ensemble for their last song, Thad Jones’s “Back Bone,” that featured a solo by the entire saxophone section.

“You can’t play perfect, so you just hope that you play your best at the performance,” McHale said. “You have to make it as exciting as possible so people aren’t dozing off at the end.”

The next performance that will feature the Jazz Ensembles will be on Dec. 4 for their annual Rhapsody in Blue concert.