Gyvnn Mendenhall’22 on the tenor saxophone. (Julia Devore’22/Media)
On Friday, November 15, The Columbus Academy Jazz Ensemble had its first concert of the year. Filled with phenomenal music, the performance showcased our school’s finest jazz musicians.
Sophomore Malachy Sullivan introduced “Flight of the Foo Birds,”with a brief background on the song’s composition, allowing the audience to understand and enjoy the piece more thoroughly. The band then performed its first Brazillian piece of the night, So Danco Samba, or “I Only Dance Samba.” Senior Evan Farenkopf announced the next number, “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” highlighting the piece’s warm sound.
In Mrs. Sneeringer’s heartfelt speech, she noted that many of her musicians were not playing their instruments of choice and praised their dedication. She acknowledged veteran members of the Jazz Ensemble, some of whom have been played for more than five years.
The program continued with another Brazillian piece: “Wave” by Antonio Carlos Jobim, featuring Praem Jagabandhu on the alto saxophone. Despite being labeled by Mrs. Sneeringer as its most challenging piece, the Ensemble executed it flawlessly. The next song, “Backatown,” was a New Orleans funk tune, featuring the trombone trumpet, and solo sections from many students.
As the concert began to wind down, Russell Ahmed’22 introduced one of the final pieces: “Untold Story” by Doug Beach and George Shutack. Although the work did not have a unique backstory, he honored the song’s trumpet soloist, Evan Farrenkopf’20, with a heartwarming anecdote that broke the fourth wall between the performers and audience. The Ensemble closed out the night on a strong note with “Work Song,” composed by Nat Adderly.
The Jazz Ensemble is carrying on the tradition of outstanding musical performance at Columbus Academy and will wow the crowd again at its next concert in Spring 2020.