The Meadowlark Middle School Jazz Band is a select ensemble that is comprised of 7th & 8th grade students who audition for membership. The jazz band’s instrumentation includes alto saxophones, tenor saxophones, bari saxophone, trumpets, trombones, piano, guitar (rhythm), bass (upright and/or electric), and drum set. These talented musicians dedicate many extra hours of their personal time to attend rehearsals and performances. The ensemble's appearances include concerts at local churches, retirement facilities, civic organizations, and area jazz festivals. Participation in this ensemble will require lots of hard work and dedication plus a high level of commitment to the group. The MMS jazz band meets as an extracurricular ensemble.
The MMS jazz band will not be a novice ensemble. Instruction will not be directed toward beginning instrumentalists. Students who wish to be in jazz band will need to be students who are accustomed to practicing their instrument at home and students that come to band class having already practiced and learned pass off lines and concert music. Membership in the band will be determined by student audition and both the student’s and parent’s agreement to adhere to the jazz band contract.
In the band we will explore the jazz styles, as an extension of our musical studies, not as a replacement for them. Instruction is designed to offer students the chance to build upon their music education. Other skills, besides musical skills, will be developed by participating in the jazz program. Students must learn responsibility, develop character, and take pride in both their contribution to, and the overall achievement of the ensemble.
The audition for placement in the jazz bands will be a very informal one. Students will be given some jazz scales and an audition piece that they must prepare on their own, outside of class. Each student’s level of preparation for their audition will make it possible to determine both their technical ability and work ethic. The purpose of the audition is to identify students who will be a positive addition to the ensemble. The audition will identify students who have and will take extra time to prepare extra music, outside of their concert band literature. Students can click the following link to visit the jazz audition procedure/materials website: Jazz Audition MaterialsThe performance schedule/calendar for the jazz band will be listed in the jazz band contract and will be posted on the band calendar page of the band website.