CHS getting Jazzy


The lights were dimming and more than 200 seats were filling when the first Jazz show of the school year began. The energy in the room was filled with excitement as Jazz 1 started the show. Each member of the 24-person band played a solo part, and each member running through the song that they have practiced since the beginning of the school year. Their nervousness washed away as they finished each piece. They released their tense shoulders and smiled down the middle of the Craft Theater.

Following the performance, Jazz 4 bands took the stage and showed off their skills. Each band brought a unique portion to the overall show with ease. They provided new energy and excitement with each songs.

Following the first song of the final band, the “Free Radicals”, in show one, Jack Wagner, the director of the CHS Jazz program, took the spotlight and gave a warm welcome to their special guest: Foundations of Science teacher Liz Stern. Stern took the spotlight without a trace of nervousness, and sang her part of the song “Beautiful Love.”

After the “Free Radicals” performed their last song, the lights flicked back on, and the hallways filled with parents and friends of the musicians. Juliet Gustafson, a senior guitar player, received flowers from her mom and a warm embrace from her boyfriend. She smiled, relieved to have finished her first Jazz show.

The second Jazz show began and the energy lifted again as “Tsunami of Tswing” took the stage. The second show was full of excitement and the seats were filled once again. The bands were dynamic to say the least.

“Sonic Boom”, with Adam Kahana on Guitar, played three fantastic songs, followed by an extra song due to the crowds response to the first three.

There was exciting news for some of the senior Jazz musicians. Jacob Johnson, a alto-sax senior at Community High School, found out that he was accepted to University of Chicago, and Adam Kahana just found out that he had been admitted to Northwestern University’s Jazz program. Wagner, Jazz director, jokingly mentioned that Johnson and Kahana will be raising funds in the hall after the concert for their college education. Also, junior Jonathan Lynn, an Alto Sax player, received news of becoming the first chair in the All-State Jazz Band.

The lights turned on, marking the end of the first Jazz show of the year. The hall way was crowded with friends and family. Parents quickly approached their musicians with their smiles, showing their affection.

Raven Eaddy, a senior bass player for the “Unconventional Wisdom” at Community High received a special surprise from her grandparents and quickly hugged them and smiled as they congratulated her on her performance. “I think that we did pretty well. I’m proud of my band, and I’m super happy,” Eaddy said, as she smiled and laughed with her friends.