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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Big band sound jazzes up basketball games

?Five, four, three, two, one,? the crowd chants before the basketball teams head for the locker rooms. As the crowd stands up to leave, the Eagle jazz band blasts the opening chords to ?Cleveland Rocks,? drawing eyes and ears to the corner of the gym.

?We?ve been performing at the games for about six years now,? Paul McEntee, band director, said. ?We do this mostly for fun. I feel that playing music gives us an outlet for frustration over the game.?

The students arrive early in the evening to set up for the performances, similar to arriving at school an hour early every morning.

Being a non-required class, all jazz band students participate of their own free will, giving their performances a special energy. Yet some students find these games a slight burden.

?Sometimes I have a soccer game that makes me miss a jazz band performance,? Coleton Hutchins, ?08, said, ?and even if I make it, I get home late and then I start doing my homework. The music is fun and so is playing, but the timing is a little inconvenient.?

Performing at the games teaches the musicians self-respect, or at least with the Aretha Franklin hit, ?Respect.? Other songs played at games are the upbeat ?Frankenstein,? and ?Boom Boom? by John Lee Hooker.

Regardless of whether or not the musicians enjoy their time at the games, their presence is appreciated. For some sports team members, the jazz band performances help make the games special.

?I like the music and all that,? Wesley Wells, senior starting varsity forward, said, ?but it?s all about Andrew Biehler on the sax. Biehler?s my man.?

Players like Wells are not the only people that enjoy the jazz band performances. On days that the band does not perform, parents and students alike can be heard lamenting the loss.

?The games are just not the same without the jazz band,? Daniel Kessler, ?06, said. ?The songs are fun and sometimes Mr. Mac takes song requests.?

Performing at the games gives many people an opportunity to hear the band perform that otherwise would never hear them play.

For those who wish to hear more, the jazz band dessert auction concert is to be held on April 3. The concert provides an informal evening of great jazz and great desserts.

For more information, contact McEntee at [email protected].

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