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Friday, October 7, 2022
Home Education School First Jazz Band Festival held for Anne Arundel middle school students

First Jazz Band Festival held for Anne Arundel middle school students

1377-Jazz Band - Lindale MSThe sound of jazz could be heard emanating from the halls of Severn River and Magothy River middle schools earlier this month.

Jazz bands from seven Anne Arundel County middle schools participated in the first Middle School Jazz Band Festival there, according to Mike Tayman, director of band and orchestra at Severn River Middle.

The music students all had the chance to perform on stage and also received lessons and instruction from clinicians with extensive backgrounds in jazz music, according to the school system.

Participating bands included Magothy River Middle School, under the direction of Bill Blanchard; Severn River Middle School, under the direction of Tayman; Bates Middle School, under the direction of Daniel Puckett; Crofton Middle School under the direction of Bill Sturgis; Central Middle School, under the direction of Debbie Turner; Southern Middle School under the direction of Rich Albright; and Lindale Middle School, under the direction of Kevin Embury.

“I was amazed at the level of ability displayed by the groups and I was pleased by the passion the young performers already have for the jazz art form,” said Debbie Derrickson, music resource teacher for Anne Arundel County Public Schools. “It truly bodes well for the programs at our high schools.”

After their performance, students received written comments from jazz guitarist Phil McCusker and professional jazz musician Maureen McCusker, who is also an elementary instrumental music teacher in the system. They then proceeded to several workshops for different sections of the band to work with professional New York jazz musicians Maeve Royce and Shirazette Tinnin, as well as members of the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors.

When all groups were done with their activities, the students received some additional lessons on playing jazz, including the meaning of such terms as “standard” and “playing a ride,” from McCusker and enjoyed a performance of jazz works by the clinicians, nearby Broadneck High School musicians, and even their own teachers.

Tayman said he hoped the festival becomes an annual event.

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