Band students get jazzy

Jazz band students practicing in the band room (Photo: Beery)

Band director Matt Flenner from Eustis High School coaches the LHS jazz band (Photo: Beery).

Paige Daly, Staff Writer – Lecanto High School [LHS] is great at giving students many opportunities to express themselves in different fashions. Teachers allow students to let their talents shine through in a variety of ways.

The jazz band at LHS is one of the many programs that give students a chance to express themselves.

“Jazz band is all about playing jazz music of course,” Robert Crane, Director of Bands, explained. “When playing most music, there are certain rules that the music tells you that you have to do while performing. [In contrast], jazz allows you to show who you are as a musician and what you are able to do.”

Students who participate in jazz band have a passion for music. They are given a chance to test and refine their abilities. Participants seem to enjoy many different aspects of the jazz band itself.

“When you’re doing jazz band, rather than trying to be precise, it’s more instinct. Jazz band is about going with the flow,” Evan Campbell, sophomore, said.

“The high energy of the group is something I really enjoy. Everyone is really excited about what’s to come,” senior Shane O’Leary said.

Students also believe that there is something about jazz band that even students who do not participate can enjoy.

“I think just listening to the music can make anyone feel better. The genre is very unique,” said Juan Santiago, senior.

“Jazz isn’t as slow as classical music, it’s more upbeat,” O’Leary said. “It’s really something anyone can enjoy and it keeps people moving.”

With Crane’s help, students are able to improve how they perform with their instruments.

“My favorite thing about jazz band is that I am able to have my students be more creative and show off their talents,” Crane said.

For the first year in school history, Lecanto’s jazz band will be participating in the Jazz Band Music Performance Assessment [MPA]. The band will travel to Wesley Chapel High School February 8 to showcase their three prepared pieces in front of a panel of judges to receive a rating.