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Jazz band enthuses game atmosphere

A basketball pounds across the gymnasium floor with a rhythmic melody and flies through the hoop with a swish. Over the roar of the crowd a whistle can be heard as the coach requests a time out.

The players gather around the coach in one corner and across the gym, another set of players is given their turn to display their talent. With four short clicks of a drumstick the tones of Aretha Franklin?s “Respect” fill the gym.

Marching band is known for their halftime shows and fight songs at football games, but basketball games belong to the jazz band. This smaller ensemble of brass, saxophone and rhythm players provide upbeat music to entertain basketball fans in-between quarters and during timeouts.

“My favorite thing about playing at the basketball games is everyone’s energy,” Sam Grizz, ’07, said. “The only thing I don’t like about it is when the games go too late.”

Other students are not as enthusiastic about the role they play in the jazz band.

“I don’t really like playing at the basketball games,” Andrew King, ’06, said. “I think high school basketball is kind of boring.”

Students, like percussionist Matt Rodriguez, ’05, enjoy the chance to have front row seats at the game.

“I like watching the game while I play,” Rodriguez said. “The only bummer is that I don’t get to hang out with my friends.”

While the band may not realize it, the basketball players they are supporting appreciate their efforts.

“I think the music is a good thing,” Ross Charest, ’05, said. “It adds to the atmosphere and helps all of the fans get into the game.”

Band director Paul McEntee enjoys helping the campus jazz band showcase their talent through varying venues.

“I first began directing the jazz band five years ago,” McEntee said. “I thought it would be good for them to serve two purposes, so I decided to make them a pep jazz band as well as a concert jazz band.”

Whether they are playing loud and proud at the basketball games or producing the more subdued tones of concert music, the jazz band continues to work hard in their quest for excellence. They will next be seen playing at the home basketball game on Jan. 18 in the FC gym.

Those students interested in going to the Jan. 26 boys’ basketball against Caruthers can hope aboard the rooter bus. The bus will leave at 5:30 P.M. and cost $5. For more information, call the office at 299-1695, ext. 5, or e-mail student leadership adviser, Josh Tosland, at [email protected].

For more information on the music program e-mail McEntee at [email protected]. For information about the basketball schedule see the recently updated sports calendar.

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