On Tuesday, March 20, the Josephine Tope Auditorium was full of energetic music. Spring Jazz Night was the event. This concert is one of the two performances during the school year for the Nevada Middle School and Nevada High School jazz bands. Between those grades, Nevada has four jazz bands that perform.
Nevada Middle School featured the seventh-grade jazz band, which performed selections custom-written by middle school band director Nate Fair for the unique educational needs of a first-year jazz band. The eighth-grade jazz band provided the opportunity to feature two outstanding saxophone soloists. Our special guest for the Spring Jazz Night was Mike Giles, professor of jazz studies and saxophone at Iowa State University. To make the evening even more exciting, Fair played the sax in a “saxophone battle” with Giles.
Next up was the Nevada High School Jazz9. This band is completely comprised of ninth-grade members. Jazz9 performed “Last Night of the Bengal” and “Moondance.”
Finally the Nevada High School 1012 jazz band took the stage. “1012 Jazz” included a selection titled “Song for My Father,” which is a Bossa Nova, a Brazilian jazz style. This school year, 1012 Jazz has made it a goal to study Latin Jazz music. The big finish to the concert was bringing Giles and Fair back on stage to solo on “Watermelon Man” with a “saxophone war.” Both played alternating solos and then, at the conclusion, played together in an attempt to outdo the other player with musical excellence. The audience loved the musical display of ideas and gave the bands a standing ovation.