Phoenix students get jazzy at concert

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Student’s musical talents were on display March 4 when they took the stage at Dillon Middle School in Phoenix.

‘An Evening of Jazz’ featured the Dillon Jazz Band, the Phoenix Varsity Jazz Band and special guests, ‘All That Jazz.’

The Dillon Jazz Band entertained the crowd with three songs, which included “Side Slippin’,” “I Beeped When I Should Have Bopped” and “Don’t Miss the Bus.”

Under the direction of David Frateschi, the John C. Birdlebough High School Varsity Jazz Band performed songs from artists Bruno Mars, Carlos Santana and Tito Puente.

Soloists were alto sax players Michael Mironti, Rachel Isbell and Brian Breen, Kaylee Waldy (tenor sax), Zach VanGorder (trumpet) and Jacob Lawless (trombone).

The Varsity Jazz Band performed the same three selections at the New Hartford Jazz Festival at New Hartford High School Feb. 28.

Twenty-five Birdlebough students traveled to the Mohawk Valley to perform in front of an audience. The non-competitive festival has an emphasis on Big Band ensemble playing.

The Varsity Jazz Band was critiqued in a 20-minute clinic after the performance by two judges. Phoenix, a Class A School (the highest ability class), was given a “Gold” rating with a score of 96 out of a possible 100 points.

Students Michael Mironti (alto sax) and Brian Breen (flute) were chosen as  honorary All-Star Band members. Mironti and Breen received certificates and a plaque was given to each participating band.

It is the third straight year the Varsity Jazz Band has participated in the event, and received a “Gold” rating. Phoenix was one of 13 bands participating in this year’s festival, with students traveling from Troy, Binghamton and other areas of CNY.

‘An Evening of Jazz’ concluded with a 40-minute concert by sextet All That Jazz, an in-school educational performing organization. Members of the group held a scholastic jazz jam session earlier in the day with the Dillon students, teaching them how to improvise.

March is Music In Our Schools Month. The Dillon Music Showcase is scheduled for 7 p.m. March 18 at the middle school.

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