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Swing into Spring fills AHS with music

 

Christopher Andersson

The Arlington High School On Hold jazz band plays during the school's Swing into Spring concert on May 11.

Arlington High School's jazz bands brought community members to the school for a night of dinner and dancing as part of their annual Swing into Spring.

The concert is a tradition for the school's jazz bands.

This year's event was held on May 11 and 12.

"This is our 25th year of doing Swing into Spring," said Arlington High School band director John Grabowski.

"We graduated a lot of hot players last year and that happens every year. You rebuild and this year they came around really strong," he said.

Unlike most of the school's concerts, this one is not held in the Byrnes Performing Arts Center. It is held in the high school's entrance/cafeteria area so that community members can eat dinner and dessert as part of the evening.

"It's a lot of fun getting the community, not just the band parents, to see us perform outside of the traditional performance at the BPAC [Bryrnes Performing Arts Center]," said On Hold and Jazz Combo II band member Cami Hanna.

Having the concert in the cafeteria also allows for a dancing floor.

"I enjoy the fact that it is not just a regular performance. It's a dessert/dinner night and we can see how the audience enjoys it by how they dance," said On Hold jazz band member Alex Weaver.

The night is something that many jazz band members look forward to.

"I was really excited for it. I've never really went before and I always wanted to and now that I'm actually playing in it, it's pretty cool," said On Hold and Jazz Combo II band member Elise Driscoll.

The night is a lot of preparation for students.

"We've logged over 50 hours just in the past month," said Hanna. "We're here all the time, it never stops."

Christopher Andersson

Arlington High School Jazz II band members Bryce Novy, right, and Max Morzelewski play saxophones as part of the school's Swing into Spring concert on May 11.

"We practice 7 a.m. in the morning every day, working through the same four measures trying to get everything to sound as perfectly as it can," said Weaver.

The school's Jazz II program is actually an extra-curricular program.

"No credit, nothing, they just come out and do it for the love of the music, and I couldn't actually be more proud of them," said Grabowski.

This year the Jazz II band actually has four eighth-graders who came from Haller Middle School. They requested to be part of the group after hearing them perform.

Band members said they enjoyed the performance aspect of the evening as well.

"My favorite part is probably just being able to play my favorite songs," said Driscoll.

"I think just getting to express myself. With the way jazz is structured there's not a lot of rules behind it," said Weaver.

 

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