The award-winning Greenwich High School Jazz Ensemble recently released its third virtual performance, But Not For Me, a Gershwin tune, showcasing the breadth and depth of this ensemble's musical talent.
The Jazz Ensemble has not skipped a beat despite ongoing challenges presented by this year's hybrid school model. GHS Band Director, Michael Breaux shared, "Creating virtual videos has given our band a chance to be creative this past year. We've definitely had to think 'outside the box! The students seem proud that we didn't let Covid stop us from making great jazz music."
To create their own individual parts from home, students had to act as the performer as well as their own videographer and audio engineer. "We grew as a band in new and exciting ways through this process. Our students learned a lot about the recording as well," said Jason Polise, Associate Band Director. "Creating virtual videos has allowed the students to experience what it's like to create a musical 'product', something that can be viewed by anyone at any time."
Last spring, Mr. Polise spearheaded the virtual recording of two Jazz pieces, This Can't Be Love by Nat King Cole and Groove Merchant by Jerome Richardson, arr. Thad Jones, garnering over five thousand views on YouTube and even appearing on the local NY-affiliate of Fox News and CT News 12.
"Our latest video, But Not For Me, was especially fun because we were able to feature a few seniors including Rebecca Scala on vocals, and with a winter theme effect. We are extremely proud of these students and excited that they've grown so much this year as a band," said Mr. Breaux.
The celebrated GHS Jazz Ensemble performs unique jazz renditions and timeless classics and has hosted the Essentially Ellington Regional High School Jazz Festival for 34 years. Although the festival was canceled last year due to the pandemic, the Band Directors are hard at work planning this year's event which will take place on Saturday, March 20, 2021. It will be an all-virtual day of performances and masterclasses for students.