The Student News Site of Newton North High School

The Newtonite

The Newtonite

The Newtonite

Follow Us on Twitter

    North’s jazz ensemble strikes gold at MAJE regional festival

    Gabe Kolodner
    Members of jazz ensemble practice in preparation for the competition, Thursday, March 14.

    Feb. 27, North’s jazz ensemble won a gold overall award for their pieces “My Funny Valentine”, “Dat Dere”, and “Fables Faubus” at the Massachusetts Association for Jazz Education’s (MAJE) regional festival located in Nipmuc High School. 

    This is the first time North has attended the event and competed with the entire band since pre-COVID, according to senior Myles Lee, a drummer for the ensemble.

    The Jazz Ensemble played three pieces for the judges: “My Funny Valentine” by Chet Baker, “Dat Dere” by The Jazz Messengers,  and “Fables of Faubus” by Charles Mingus. 

    “I helped lead the band into different aspects and textures,” said Lee. “I’ve been playing drums ever since I’ve been able to hold two wooden spoons.” 

    Director of band, Richard Labedz, said that Lee was presented with an overall gold award because of his leadership. 

    “The panel of judges recognize students’ unprompted behavior to lead the band into different sections,” Labedz says. 

    According to Lee, at the festival, the ensemble received 15 minutes to warm up and then was called to perform in front of a panel of judges. Following this performance, a judge took the ensemble to a practice room to provide them with both criticism and praise for their performance. 

    Each ensemble participating in the festival is graded on improvisation, as a defining feature of Jazz performance is the ability to play music on the fly. 

    Following their regional performance, the Jazz Ensemble went on to place silver at the state level March 16, at Norwood High School. 

    Donate to The Newtonite
    More to Discover
    About the Contributor
    Gabe Kolodner
    Gabe Kolodner, Photo Managing Editor
    Donate to The Newtonite