Jordan Dearing-Harmen’19 receives the Louis Armstrong Jazz award and the John Phillip Souza award, the first student in Academy history to receive both. (Riley Hennessey’19/Media)
Friday, May 3, marked Academy’s annual All That Jazz concert. The theme, “Jazz by Moonlight,” fit well with the mood of the night. Consisting of an array of pieces featuring many talented soloists, as well as the presentation and acknowledgment of several awards, it was certainly a night to remember.
Academy’s jazz band is a zero period course. This means the musicians meet three times a week at 7:15 before school. The quality of the concert is no surprise when considering the dedication these students put into their craft.
This year’s All That Jazz had selections of music that the band performed throughout the year, as well as several pieces most notably performed on the Disney trip. Senior Aylah Mendenhall featured as a vocalist on “Bei Mir Bist Du Shein,” a song made famous by the Andrews Sisters. Other members of the class of 2019 played large vocal roles, with Liam McCann performing as both a singer for “Angel Eyes” and as a percussionist. Mira Bhasin sang for “A Foggy Day in London Town.”
With such a large number of seniors, the jazz band’s success was a point of pride for all involved. Band director Jessica Sneeringer made it a point to discuss that she had not anticipated the level of difficulty that the band could tackle and expressed how impressed she was with their performance. “Brass Machine” was a particularly striking piece, with a difficult trumpet part and skilled, complex drumming.
One of the most noteworthy parts of the night, however, came with the presentation of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award. Given across America to seniors, this award recognizes “outstanding musical achievement and an incredible dedication to the program.” The award was presented to senior Jordan Dearing-Hardiman, making him the only student in Columbus Academy history to receive both the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award and John Phillips Sousa Award.
The success of the 2019 jazz band is no less than astonishing, and we wish the seniors well on their next musical ventures.