Seven groups from the Shippensburg Area School District and Shippensburg University came together in a parade of musical talent for an “Evening of Jazz” at the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center on campus Monday.
The 17th annual show brought in proceeds to benefit the district’s Greyhound Foundation.
“The Greyhound Foundation supports the school district in whatever way we can through education, arts and athletics,” said Rhonda Horst, foundation chair.
Snazzily dressed students in the Sixth Grade Jazz Band opened up the night with the swing-style song, “Zoot Suit Riot,” about the California racial riots in the 1940s. Aaron Gesell was featured on drums.
The next song was by the Beatles called “Norwegian Wood” with solos from alto saxophonist Abigayle Saboe, and trumpeters Graison Michajluk and Keegan Kissinger.
The group then played “Peter Gunn,” a theme song for the detective show of the same name. Directed by Mark Wilson, the students played a variety of instruments including piano, flutes, bassoon, tuba, oboe, clarinet and keyboard bass.
The GBLUES Chorus, made up of fourth and fifth graders from Grace B. Luhrs University Elementary School, took the stage singing “Jazz is on its Way,” a song about jazz spreading across the nation. Then they sang “Route 66” with a trio performance by Kaylee Kierzkowski, Drew Callaghan and Pierce Crawley.
The seventh and eighth grade Jazz Hounds soulfully swung through “Boogie Lou” with a solo alto saxophone performance by Alena Casella, a trumpet duet by Donovan Yaukey and Peter De Bruin, a euphonium duet by Kyle Buchheister and Blake Elliott, and drums featuring Jacob Cramer.
“The students are expected to learn music on their own,” said Matthew Strine, SASD assistant superintendent, of the Jazz Hounds. “You will see non-traditional jazz instruments on stage with the group including flutes, clarinets, mellophone, baritones and a tuba. Miss [Jennifer] Enders accepts any instrumentation as long as the students can handle playing the part.”
The musicians also performed the hit “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be” by Duke Ellington and the familiar “Play That Funky Music” by the Wild Cherry.
The fourth act was the Accidentals. The students flexed their vocal chords with pieces like “Take the A Train” by Billy Strayhorn; “Ain’t Misbehavin” by Andy Razaf, Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller and Harry Brooks; and “Blue Skies” by Irving Berlin. Zach Levy and Rachel Knight sang solos.
The Accidentals is the only middle school jazz choir in the area. They once played with the band Foreigner and will do so again in April.
The High School Jazz Band then stole the show with “Fool Me Once” featuring Noah Stewart on baritone saxophone, Seth Sjoberg on trumpet and Zachary Davis on tenor saxophone. After, the peppy sound of “Buckjump” filled the air with trombone soloist Jarrett Landreth.
“This is a really cool, old-school, funk kind of arrangement,” said director John Piper.
The Sharps were up next, which is a high school choir with 12 members directed by Jennifer Deibler.
They began with an iconic World War II song, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by Don Raye and Hughie Prince.
Then the choir sang one of the most covered songs in the history of recorded music - “Summertime” by George Gershwin at over 33,000 covers.
Comprised of non-music majors at Shippensburg University, the SU Jazz Ensemble performed the final set starting with “Sandu” by Clifford Brown. To mix things up, the performers brought out Mackenzie Brouse to softly sing “Bewitched” by Ella Fitzgerald as the band played.
Their next piece was the classic “Tall Cotton” by Sammy Nestico.
Finally, the ensemble fittingly played “Work Song” after their director Trever Famulare talked about their practice sessions. Because winter had its own schedule in mind, the SU Jazz Ensemble had only four rehearsals to prepare.
“This event always gives a little inspiration, because I’ve seen people grow up across the years,” Famulare, who has kids in the school district, said.
“The kids did tremendously well,” said Emilie Stuart, director of the GBLUES Chorus. “We put a lot of effort into it, and it definitely paid off. It’s great that all of the directors could get together and make this happen.”
“It was awesome. It was my first solo,” said Noah Stewart, who played the baritone saxophone for the High School Jazz Band.
“I was really, really nervous,” he said. “It was crazy stuff, but it pushes me out of my comfort zone.”
“It was fun to watch everyone else play,” said Seth Sjoberg of the High School Jazz Band, who played trumpet. Sjoberg said he was influenced by his older sister who was in band as well.
“It was fabulous. This was our fifth time out here,” said Judy, Sjoberg’s mother.
All students who participated in An Evening of Jazz are:
Sixth Grade Jazz Band:
Alto Saxophone: Abigayle Saboe and Jillian Sydnor
Flute: Addison Hostettler, Kaylee Miller and Kira Shirk
Trumpet: Caitlin Carr, Keegan Kissinger, Ryan Martin and Graison Michajluk
Tenor Saxophone: Joshua Stake
Clarinet: Jaeden Forsythe
Oboe: Aubriana Carmack
Baritone Saxophone: Willow Walker
Trombone: Aaron Culbertson and Elizabeth Markel
Piano: Hannah Heberlig, Helem Peart and Amy Jones
Bassoon: Connor Mowers
Tuba: Masson Mowers
Drums: Aaron Gesell and Rylan Morris
Keyboard Bass: Brandon Mawhinney
Fourth Grade: Anthony Byers, Drew Callaghan, Giovanni Carbo, Anna Connor, Andreas Dunkel, Rachel Frederick, Max Galluzzo, Isaiah Hall, Della Hawkins, Kaylee Kierzkowski, Isabella Kyle, Ida Langella, Anna Massara, Jaiden Pasquarello, Levi Pelow, Brooklyn Powell, Caroline Rogers, Jaxon Smith and Hazel Thomason.
Fifth Grade: Pierce Crawley, Ricardo Yañez Gonzalez, Lydia Lyman, Jasmin Podolinsky, Kaden Shope, Alexander Smeltz and Denzel Surcică.
Alto Saxophone: Alena Casella and Greta Moats
Tenor Saxophone: Ashton Ulmer and Colin Krause
Baritone Saxophone: Logan Eckert
Tuba: Natalie Spicka
Flute: Maris Swartz, Madison Miller, Maddie Shindledecker, Kyleigh Ochs, Cassie Mentzer,
Brynn Weber and Kristin Thompson
Clarinet: Samantha Lohman, Julia Strine, Abby Banks and Leah Britcher
Trumpet: Travis Bigham, Donovan Yaukey, Peter De Bruin, Bryce Russell and Parker Shuman
Mellophone: Ashley Miller
Bass: Mira Blount
Trombone: Ethan Watts
Euphoniums: Kyle Buchheister and Blake Elliott
Keyboard Bass: Maris Swartz
Piano: Zoe Burkholder
Guitar: Gabe Brandt
Percussion: Daniel Kennedy, Connor Hammond, Jason Park, Kyrenn Barrick, Janelle Staver, Colin Langella and Jacob Cramer
Sabrina Boyum, Sarah Fink, Isabella Harris, Rachel Knight, Lauren Miller, Kyleigh Ochs, Julia Strine, Olivia Bailey, Zoe Burkholder, Jenna Cornell, Kyla Jones, Mallory Lohman, Samantha Lohman, Maris Swartz, Travis Bigham, Kyle Buchheister, Zach Levy, Zeke Lyman, Ashton Ulmer, Joseph Wenger and Donovan Yaukey.
High School Jazz Band:
Alto Saxophone: Bailey Renfrew and Jacob Estes
Tenor Saxophone: Cole Souders and Zachary Davis
Baritone Saxophone: Noah Stewart
Trumpet: Nick Bowers, Anthony Casella, Hayden Rhinehart and Seth Sjoberg
Trombone/Baritone: Jarrett Landreth, James Logan, Ashlee Rowles and Lance Varner
Drums: Dusty Martin and Titus Manetta
Piano: Michaela Cameron
Guitar: Luke Hershey
Bass: John Stewart
Sopranos: Stephanie Jones, Alyssa Kelso and Leah Staver
Altos: Natalie Crawford, Maddie Madamba and Margaret Sppicka
Tenors: Luke Hershey, David Hewitt and Luke Lyman
Bass: Luke Byers, Cole Souders and Noah Stewart
Accompanist: Michaela Cameron
Shippensburg University Jazz Ensemble:
Saxophone: Derrick Scheetz, Derrick Atkins, Jimmy Smith, Amelia Rhoads and Yelena Gulkewicz
Trumpet: Geoffrey Browell, Maria Trace, Jon Bergmueller, Jesse Nitchkey and Corey Higgins
Trombone: Justin Fenn, Chris Atkins, Justin Hock, Zsofia Kandrot and Joe Naughton
Piano: Samantha Weiger
Guitar: Andrew Withum and Maxwell Stephens
Vocals: Mackenzie Brouse