All that HHS jazz and dinner

Hannah Thompson

practice pic

Advanced Jazz Ensemble discusses song choices for the upcoming jazz dinner Georgia Geen

The Billboard Top One Hundred
gets jazzified with Hanover’s upcoming
“Name that Tune” jazz dinner on
April 30. The Jazz Band and the Advanced
Jazz Ensemble will unite to
wow the community with their jazz
renditions of popular music and the
audience will be given the opportunity
to guess the songs being played.
Dinner will be from 6:00 to 7:30
p.m. in the Hanover cafeteria and
costs $6. Attendees will partake in
a baked potato bar, where they will
receive a freshly baked potato at the
beginning of the line and will be able
to pile it high with the condiments
of their choosing. Salads will also be
served as a side for the starch.
“We do a jazz dinner every year;
that’s our big project for Jazz Ensemble.
So we pick a theme and this
year’s theme is like a ‘name that tune,’
so we take pop songs and turn them
into jazz charts and people can come
up and guess the tune as we’re playing
it and there will be prizes,” senior
trombone player Nick Verham said.
People who come to the jazz dinner
will be split into teams based on
where they are seated. The cafeteria
will be split in half to form the two
competing teams.
“It’s going to be set up like a game
show with two sides, two different
teams, that you will come on based on
where you sit,” director of both jazz
bands, Amy Birdsong said.
Spanish teacher Chad Taylor will
be the MC for this event and will give
the audience hints before the start of
each tune to aid them in the guessing
process.
“Every table will have a paddle
that will be color coded that they can
raise, and there’ll be judges around
that can help figure out which table
had the answer first… The judges are
going to be kind of like proctors, because
it’s either right or wrong. We’ll
have lots of people, mostly parents,
but some students, going around and
seeing who raised their paddle first
and assigning points,” Birdsong said.
In order to keep the competition
fair, members of either jazz band are
not allowed to participate in the song
guessing. Additionally, none of the
names of the songs being played will
be released beforehand, but Birdsong
was willing to describe the nature of
the music that will be played.
“There’s some standard jazz tunes
and some reenvisioned tunes, so maybe
popular songs that are turned into
swing jazz charts, big band charts.
And then they’ll also be easily recognizable
ones as well, so there’ll be a
little bit for everybody… The songs
we’ll be playing are from the early
1900s to songs that just came out this
year,” Birdsong said.
Some of the songs played will be
masked in other songs to create maximum
guessing difficulty. This was
inspired by an album the two bands
listened to, and were intrigued by,
earlier in the year.
“This concert was inspired by an
album from Paul Anka called ‘Rock
Swings,’ where he took things like
‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana
from the nineties and reworked it into
a big band jazz chart, so we got fascinated
with that album and thought
we should do that too,” Birdsong said.
While the jazz bands are creating
most of their own jazz charts, they
chose to turn to a professional to help
create some of their trickier pieces.
“We even had two pieces commissioned
by a NoBS! Brass founder,
member, Bryan Hooten, so he’s written
a piece for jazz band and jazz ensemble.
They’ll be the kind that are
sort of masked, like you might know
it, but it’ll be a totally different version
of a song that pretty much everyone
knows,” Birdsong said.
This event has been scheduled
so that it does not conflict with the
opening night of Hanover Theatre
Company’s “Our Town” on the same
night. In fact, it was planned so perfectly
that the jazz dinner ends right
when the play begins, so that if one
desired to he or she could attend both
events in one trip.
Both jazz bands are very excited
for the dinner and are hoping for a
large turnout to help support their
department.
“Great jazz music from two great
jazz bands: Hanover High School
‘Name that Tune’ Production. Be
there or be square!” senior trombone
player TJ Hindley said.

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Author: The Hawk Eye

Hanover High School, Mechanicsville, Virginia The Hawk Eye Student Newspaper thehawkeye@hcps.us

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