On February 12th the prize winning Lancer Jazz Band and the Lab Band from Livingston High will take the stage at the First Annual at LHS for a program of big band jazz. These few hours will be preceded by many more hours of rehearsal time.
There are a lot of ingredients going into this mix and musical director Jim Hegedus is hoping that they are going to add up to more than the sum of their parts. The Lancer Jazz Band, made up of five trumpets, four trombones, six saxophones, piano, guitar, bass, drums and two vocalists, spend about 2 1/2 hours a week together. New songs are learned, parts are perfected and players develop a rapport that makes it possible for nineteen musicians to swing together on stage.
Hegedus said that the hardest part of working with a group like this is picking material that will be the right fit for this particular group of musicians. Knowing their strengths and limitations, he has chosen "Beyond The Sea," "Tuxedo Junction," "Moonlight Serenade" and "Fly Me to the Moon," among others.
Watching a group like this rehearse can be fascinating if you can appreciate the process. False starts give way to fully realized pieces and missed notes are found the second or third time around. A piece falls apart in the middle and the group goes back to the beginning to do it again. Then the whole thing comes together, the band is swinging and you're tapping your feet and admiring some great solos.
We hope that the accompanying photos will give you a bit of the feel for what goes on behind the scenes.
They are not captioned, as we hope that the images will speak for themselves.
Check back on Thursday for part two!