Ten years and ten wins for the Shawano Community High School jazz band as they roll through their competition at the Rolling Meadows jazz competition. The jazz I and jazz II bands drove down to compete.
The jazz I band, led by Mr. Christopher Kent, had a victorious weekend as they came in first place for their tenth year in a row over St. Charles West High School which placed second, Illinois Valley Central High School which placed third and many more bands.
Many of these teams have been playing instruments for years. For example, Shawano players typically start playing their instruments in middle school to get years of practice in so that they can experience moments like these in their high school careers.
All the songs played by Shawano’s jazz band in this year’s Rolling Meadows were by Duke Ellington; the songs included were “The Mooche”, “Half the Fun” and “Solid Old Man”. These songs were played because they tried out for the national competition, and they are extremely hard pieces to play.
When asked what his favorite piece is, senior Karson Rades said, “‘The Mooche’ it’s so different. I’ve never played a song like it before, and it’s kind of sassy when the soloists are mocking each other and it’s kind of funny.”
The competition takes multiple high schools scattered around the area and has them drive down and spend the night in a hotel. Even though it is a trip to a new area, and other bands might have given in to nerves, the Shawano jazz band performed amazingly in front of the crowds and spectators.
The jazz band is split up into different sections. These sections include trumpet players, trombone players, saxophone players and percussion players who all carry an important role in each and every song.
Ten years of wins may seem like a long record to uphold, but it will never get old to the players participating in the competition. The opportunity to attend a new musical competition and continue to win every year is an amazing experience for these players, and allows them to continue making Shawano High proud.