North, South Jazz ensembles raise money for scholarship fund

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Sophie Fredberg

North and South Jazz ensembles performed to raise money for the Newton Music Ambassadors Scholarship Fund (MASF) Friday, Nov. 22, at the American Legion Post.

MASF was created by North and South to support students who cannot afford to pursue arts in school and to raise money for travel. Tickets were $25 for adults and $10 for students, with all the money raised going to the scholarship fund. 

Tiger Bebop, Jazz Ensemble 1 and 2, Jazz/Rock Workshop, and Advanced Jazz Improv Combo 1, 2, and 3 performed their recent projects. North music teacher Richard Labedz led all the North groups. South music teachers Lisa Linde, Kevin O’Connell, and Ed Harlow led the South groups.

“I hope the students learn from the benefit [concert] that real life performances are a different setting than our school setting,” said Labedz. “With an audience that is a little more interactive and casual, the idea of going to foreign locations and trying to set up in a new area are real life musical skills to know.”

The evening featured 14 groups, performing for three hours in two rooms. 

“We have a really awesome jazz community in both North and South,” said Labedz. “Hopefully people will come check out some of our other performances through this.”

Senior Sara Manning played trumpet in Jazz Ensemble 1, Advanced Jazz Improv Combo 2, and Jazz/Rock Workshop. She was referenced as a highlight by many of her peers. 

“It feels good to play for a cause,” said Manning. “It always feels good to play, but it is much better when something is attached to that.”

The benefit raised about $8,000 for MASF.

“I hope the people coming to support can see that students can be extremely talented. It blows my mind to see how amazing these people are,” said sophomore Rachel Alpert-Wisnia. “Hopefully people can see that Newton Music programs are worth while. They deserve donations and funding.”