High school student members of the MacEwan Youth Jazz Orchestra are gearing up for a concert on November 27.
Ones to watch: Keep your eye on these high school jazz enthusiasts
Every Wednesday evening, a group of talented band students from high schools across the city come together in MacEwan University’s Allard Hall for another kind of rehearsal. Nominated by their band teachers, the group of 19 students are all members of the MacEwan Youth Jazz Orchestra.
Now in its second year, the orchestra is less about singling out virtuosos at each school, explains Craig Brenan, associate professor of music, and more about choosing talented students who show a passion for music.
“We really are trying to create a community that supports these students in continuing to enjoy music,” says Craig, who founded the orchestra. And while he would love to see these students in his classes at MacEwan, Craig adds that nurturing a long-term love of music and arts advocacy among the orchestra’s alumni is what really matters. “We hope this experience helps them see what music can mean in their lives.”
For Grade 12 student Ezra, his first year in the orchestra was exciting – and humbling.
“It was pretty sick. Playing with a bunch of super dedicated musicians who aren’t just doing this for credit was a great experience – I learned so much more than I could with my band in high school,” says the baritone saxophone player. “It also made me realize that I wasn’t really that good, so I started taking private lessons and I’ve been improving a lot.”
The orchestra held two sold-out concerts last year and is gearing up for its first of the 2019/20 academic year on Wednesday, November 27 in the Betty Andrews Recital Hall. Tickets are available for $15 at the door.
“We are fortunate to have great support from teachers, parents and the greater community,” says Marty Majorowicz, the orchestra’s director who is also a high school band teacher. “This seems to be something people really want.”
Here are a few images of the orchestra hard at work: