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Music group jazzes-up' basketball games

Those who have never been to an eagle home basketball game, may have missed more than they think. FC games are not like ordinary high school basketball. The difference for many is the jazz band.

The band brought some musical motivation to the first home game of the basketball season and has continued to perform for most home games since Jan. 10.

The New Year marks the third annual jazz band tradition of performing during sports events.

“I do not think that the sound of the new gym is to much different than the old one,” director Paul McEnetee said. “The best change for has been the space issue. In the old gym we were so confined and it made it extremely difficult to set up. Now in the new gym we have a much larger area to play in.”

The changes are not just being made in where they play, but with the band members as well. Much of the student body remembers the talent of the original jazz band, but how well will the new group hold up. Five of the bands original members have graduated, including the talents of Steve Yao,’01, on drums and Tim Ficklin, ’01, on lead trumpet.

Only five more original members remain. Several new members have been added to replace those who left, including Nate Wies, and 8th grader, on bass and David Yancey, ’05, on drums. The band is still searching for someone to play guitar; someone talented enough to replace what the band lost when its first guitarist, Matt Eden, left.

Also joining the band this year is 8th grader Peter Ochletree. The young drummer will be playing alongside Yancey, hoping to develop his talent so that he will be able to take the position for his own when Yancey leaves. The Ochletree name may already sound familiar, his older brother Phillip Ocheltree, ’04, has played trombone in the band since its beginning.

“I sort of had to push him to join,” Phillip Ochletree said. “Being in a high school band program makes him better when he goes back to play at the junior high level. He has told me that he is going to be in jazz band for the rest of high school. Hopefully my other little brothers will join also.”

The band still has many more games to play at this season. They can be seen performing at the home games against Firebaugh on Jan. 28, Fowler on Jan. 31 and Riverdale on Feb.11.

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