The LMC Jazz Band Performs at the South Haven Jazz Festival Clinic


Erika Spafford

SOUTH HAVEN – After weeks of practice, the LMC middle and high school jazz bands were able to take their skills to the stage as they performed at the Jazz Festival Clinic in South Haven.  With over ten other schools present at the clinic, the students played well and had a great time.

Though it started off as an early morning, the students were ready to work once they arrived at the South Haven high school.  After warming up their instruments and songs, the Lakers were called to the auditorium.

The high schoolers were first, and their opening number, Song for My Father, featured a few instrumental solos by senior trombonist Grant DeFrancesco, senior alto saxophonist Andrew Armstrong, and eighth-grader Noah Tan on the piano.  The next song, One More For the Count, had a faster rhythm, with another solo by DeFrancesco.

The third song by the high schoolers was called Doxy, and was the most jovial of them all with a tenor saxophone solo by junior Alex Sobottke.  In the end, the group received only a couple pointers from the judge, a good sign considering all of their work.

Elena Douville, senior tenor saxophonist, thought the band’s performance at the clinic went well.

“I feel like there were definitely some nerves going through all of us, but I think everybody tried their best and I am really proud of what we were able to accomplish.”

The middle school performed several schools afterward.  Their upbeat songs, It Is What It Is, Taxicab, Don’t Miss the Bus, even had students from other schools cheering.  

The two soloists, seventh-grade baritone saxophonist, Harry Lewis, and eighth-grade alto saxophonist, Matt Warner, did a terrific job as well.  All in all, the middle schoolers, like the high schoolers, had few critiques from the judge.

Mr. Tom Crowner, the high school jazz band director, thought highly of the students’ overall performance.

I’m extremely proud of all of our high school and middle school jazz band students’ performances today. The tunes they played were all of a high quality, and it’s my hope that each student has begun to truly appreciate jazz as an important art form.  I also want to mention what a great job our soloists did. It’s challenging to improvise in front of an audience and I’m very impressed with their efforts!”

It was evident through their performances that both the middle and high school jazz bands are doing extremely well and will continue to impress audiences for years to come.