The Gainesville High School Jazz Band features 15 students, whose musical passion goes far beyond the basics.
Students participating in the Jazz Band are not only taking one course in band, but two.
They are required to be enrolled in both concert band and the Jazz band, GHS Band Director Taylor Kami said.
“This is a special group,” he added.
This 15 piece Jazz ensemble features sophomore Carlie Hatcher on flute; sophomore Kaitlyn Lawler on flute; freshman Alison Molsbee on flute; sophomore Collin Izzo on alto saxophone; sophomore Lilton Moore on tenor saxophone; junior Koby Parks on trombone; sophomore Alexander “Alex” Huerta on trombone; senior Ricardo Vargas on Trombone; junior Tyler Llano on trumpet; sophomore Javier Salinas on trumpet; freshman Konnor Parks on drums; junior Jasper Moore on drums; sophomore Brandon Phillips on piano; and Sophomore Jason Elliott on Bass.
Kami said he tries to teach these students the importance that jazz music has in American culture.
“I believe that studying the history of Jazz is important because it is arguably one of ‘our’ greatest contributions as Americans to music,” Kami said. “It is the basis for popular music that followed including that of Rock and Roll.”
The band recently played their largest gig at the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet.
“The Chamber of Commerce was my favorite ‘gig’ so far because we were able to play to our largest group of people this year,” Koby Parks said.
Jazz bass player Elliott said being in the Jazz Band can be defined in one word “Awesome.”
Elliott continued, “because Jazz Band allows me to go different places and work with people I wouldn’t have normally gone. The opportunity to just play my instrument is awesome and the practice I am receiving is great, because Mr. Kami tries to emphasize the musical aspect rather than to just teach us to read notes on a page.”
Kami said the Jazz Band will preform on Feb. 23 at the Boys and Girls Club of Cooke County and again on Feb. 29 for GHS’s Black History Month assembly.