Middle schools get in the swing

Area middle school instrumental jazz ensembles are busy preparing for the District VI Instrumental Jazz Festival at Bucksport Middle School on March 7. Bands that receive a I or II rating from the judges will move on to the state middle school festival.

The 17-piece group from Conners Emerson, led by music teacher Gene Gill, will play three songs: “The Chicken,” Li’l Darlin’” and “Flight of the Foo Birds.”

Soloists will be Sabine Costello-Sanders on baritone saxophone, Jacob Lurvey on upright bass, Sadie Sullivan on trumpet, Finn Hansbury on alt saxophone and Jonathan Mathieu on trumpet.

The 23-member Mount Desert Elementary School jazz band, directed by Heather Graves, will play three tunes featuring a total of five soloists. “The Mudbug Strut” by Paul Baker includes solos by Brendan Graves on trombone, Grace Munger on tenor sax, Cole Watson on alto sax and Topher Prokopius on tuba. Munger will be the soloist on the George Gershwin standard “Summertime,” arranged by Michael Sweeney. The band’s performance of “Fast Forward” by Howard Rowe will feature solos by Quentin Pileggi on trombone and Graves.

The Pemetic Elementary School jazz band, directed by Ed Michaud, is playing “Girl from Ipanema,” by Antonio Carlos Jobim, lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes, arranged for young jazz band by John Berry. Also on their set list is “Mr. Cool” by Mike Steinel and the late 1970s top hit “September” by American funk band Earth, Wind & Fire. Soloist are Sylvester Mays and Riley Donahue on the trumpet, Weston Granholm, alto saxophone, Isabelle Peterson on the trombone and Jaylin Holmes playing bass.

The Tremont Consolidated School jazz band is “thrilled to be participating in the upcoming Island Jazz Night and District VI Jazz Festival,” director Allison Putnam said.

The band will perform “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” by Manning Sherwin, arranged by Roger Holmes, “Witchcraft” by Cy Coleman, arranged by Michael Sweeney, and “Ain’t Misbehavin’” by Thomas Waller, arranged by Bob Lowden.

Members include Kaleena Higgins and Sophia Thurston on alto sax, Hannah St. Amand on tenor sax, Alicia Thurston and Cedar Ellis, Evan Brugman, Nicholas Fonseca, Francis Burns and Nicholas Jacobs on trumpet, Ava Lawson and Lolie Ellis on trombone, Ella St. Amand on piano, Nathan Lawson and Cedar Ellis on drums, Eric Fonseca on auxiliary percussion and Liam Hollis on bass.

An ensemble from Trenton Elementary School, led by Brian Booher, will perform “Moondance” and “Cissy Strut.”

Soloists include Olivia Winger on alto saxophone, Rayna Gott on alto saxophone, AJ Dow on tenor saxophone, Aiden Mitchell on clarinet and Caleb Guess on drums.


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