Arlington High School’s jazz bands brought dancing and grooves to the school’s commons at their annual Swing into Spring on May 3 and 4.
The local bands invite the community for a couple of nights of dancing and food each year as part of their spring fundraiser.
“What we’re doing is a fundraiser for Arlington High School bands,” said Arlington High School band member Isaac Hammond.
“There will be dancing, cheesecake and cake,” he said.
The event is attended by many people from Arlington and many students from the high school.
“It’s a pretty big event for the community,” said Arlington High School band member Evan Nichols.
“We just come out and play some nice jazz music and it’s a great night to come out to,” he said.
The school’s Jazz I, Jazz II and Combo bands play at the event.
Unlike most school concerts, attendees are encouraged to dance as part of the evening.
“What makes it fun is that unlike most concerts, it’s a dance,” said Hammond.
“When it gets going the lights will be down and it’s a little more upbeat than a concert,” he said.
It’s also a different atmosphere for many of the band members.
“It can get a little distracting with the dancing sometimes, but once you start getting into a groove and having a good time it works out,” said Hammond.
Arlington High School band member Gavin Gray said he enjoyed playing in Combo, although the smaller band does put more attention on each individual member.
“When I’m in Combo I’m the only trumpet player, so if I mess up everyone will know it’s me,” he said.
“But they never do notice, as long as you don’t make a face,” he said.
Band members work to serve food throughout the evening as well as dressing up the commons of the high school.
“I just think the atmosphere is different. We take a lot of time to set it up with the lighting and tables,” said Gray.
“It’s fancy even though it’s in a high school commons,” he said.
Nichols said that he has enjoyed being part of the jazz bands at the school.
“Band Director John Grabowski runs a really good program,” he said.
“Concert music is cool, but jazz music is really what I’m into, so this lets me come out of my shell and really play a different style of music,” he said.
Many students also said that it was fun simply to have an outlet for their music and a place to meet with like-minded peers.
“These people all enjoy music just like I do so it’s fun to see that,” said Hammond.
“It’s really nice for you to be able to bond with other people over the music,” said Gray.