by Ellie Reinhardt
The second annual Westfield Jazz Night on May 3 will feature the Jazz Ensemble, Stage Band and the EIS and two RIS jazz bands. The event will begin at 7 p.m. in Cafeteria B, according to www.westfieldhsbands.org. The success of the first Jazz Night last year led to its continuation. Band Director Mr. Chris Vitale said, “We knew immediately after the event that this night would continue to grow and evolve into a great Westfield Jazz tradition.”
According to Vitale, the event is more student-run this year. The WHS Band Leadership Council is planning the event. According to piano player senior Eric Mikalauskas, the WHS band president this year, the students are “busy making preparations to advertise, decorate, usher and even MC for the event.”
According to alto saxophone player senior Andres Chang, the students will set up the cafeteria like a jazz club for the event. “[Last year] the atmosphere was the best part [of the night] because it’s unlike any other school concert; concert-goers are invited to eat, converse and hang out in a leisurely setting,” he said.
Jazz Night is also different from most concerts in that it features both the middle school and high school jazz bands together.
Trumpet player senior Clay Beyert said: “The best part [about jazz night] for me [is] being able to perform for all of the younger groups from the middle schools and show them what the program is all about in high school. These kids are the future of the WHS program so it’ll be nice to see what’s in store for the years to come.”
The bands are preparing diligently for the night. Tenor saxophone player senior Jeff Marino said: “The jazz ensemble has been working hard on new and more challenging music this year in preparation for jazz night and other competitions and performances. We’re playing more music of different varieties, which makes for a great performance.”