One of the extracurricular activities at GFS that students are able to participate in is the Jazz Band. Described as fun and jazzy by many students at GFS, the Jazz Band offers a time for expression, learning, and enjoyment. Taking place on Mondays and Thursdays, students play rock and jazz selections under the creative but watchful direction of director Jeff Torchan.
The Jazz Band consists of a different arrangement than the normal “Big Band” Jazz instrumentation giving it a slightly different sound. A Big Band consists of two alto saxophones, two tenor saxophones, one baritone saxophone, four trumpets, four trombones, a drum, acoustic or electric bass, a piano, and a guitar. The GFS jazz band has three alto saxophones and only one tenor saxophone, completely lacking a baritone saxophone. The band has only two trumpets and two clarinets in place of the four trumpets and four trombones. Most different of all the Jazz Band has an overpowering rhythm section with five pianists three bass players, and three guitarists. Because of this balance is very important to control and the rhythm section is forced to take turns throughout the songs.
The Jazz Band has already participated in the GFS winter assembly, and have many more exciting appearances to undergo. During the winter assembly, the Jazz Band wowed the crowd with their skilled performance with various soloists, some including Joseph on the piano, Michael on the clarinet, and Sam on the trumpet. The song, “What I’d Say” was performed slightly slower than usual but with just as much energy.
The Jazz Band hopes to perform in many more concerts, including GFS’s very own Jazz concert. The next concert is the Haverford Middle School Jazz Concert, where the Jazz Band will compete against other Jazz Bands for various prizes. In preparation for the concert, the Jazz Band has started working on new pieces. One of the pieces, “Work Song” includes some combinations of notes the Jazz Band has not tried before, as well as a Melody Solo by Lilliana Greene.
Jazz Band is a great experience for all Middle School Students, especially for people that want to have fun and learn great Jazz pieces.