The Lower Merion High School music department, with support from the District and the LM Jazz Parent Committee, recently hosted an outstanding evening of musical entertainment at the 2019 Lower Merion Jazz Festival featuring nine high school and two middle school competition jazz bands, a capella performances and the award-winning Lower Merion High School Jazz Band.
Participating high schools in this year's event included Interboro, North Penn, Neshaminy, Penn Wood, Bensalem, Marple Newtown, Radnor, Creative Arts and Lower Merion, which was performing non-competitively. These groups were also joined by the Bala Cynwyd and Welsh Valley middle school jazz bands, the Lower Merion Jazz Combo and Lower Merion's Flying Aces and Ace's Angels a capella groups. The master of ceremonies for the evening was Lower Merion music teacher Aaron Datsko.
This annual event is part of the Cavalcade Jazz Festivals sponsored by the Cavalcade of Bands Association (CBA), comprised of more than 60 schools in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The emphasis of Cavalcade Jazz Festivals is "Education Through Musical Involvement." It is their firm belief that controlled competition can be a positive educational tool wherein the process of music education can greatly enhance general education and life skills.
The Association provides each festival with a panel of three professional jazz musicians and educators. There are no first, second or third place bands at CBA festivals. Instead, following the performances, adjudicators assign each band a rating, which is announced at the end of the evening, along with special recognition of outstanding sections and soloists. Judges also record commentary with positive feedback and suggestions for improvement. The purpose is to have bands learn and improve from each Cavalcade appearance. Bands are judged using the following areas of skill evaluation: tone/blend/balance, interpretation, rhythm, precision, dynamics, intonation and improvisation. Best section awards are also given out for saxes, trombones, trumpets and rhythm. To view a slideshow of pictures from throughout the evening, click on the image below!
This incredible event would not be possible without the support of the community. The Lower Merion Jazz Band sincerely thanks Superintendent Robert Copeland; LMHS Administration and Faculty; Principal Sean Hughes; Assistant Principals Jon Fadely, Karen DeFranco and Scott Kilpatrick; Athletics & Activities Director Jason Stroup; A/V Specialists Jim Rigby and Mike Perbix; head custodian Jim Perri; the LMHS Music Department; the School Board for their continued support of arts and music in LMSD schools at all levels; and the many parent volunteers who graciously give their time in support of the students and the event.