New HHS band director Nora Tycast is spicing things up! The secondary school band programs are in a rebuilding phase both in terms of regaining student interest post-COVID, but also in making the program more contemporary and reflective of student interest. This grant offers a fabulous opportunity for all HHS band students, regardless of aptitude, ability, or instrument, and highlighting jazz in an exciting new way.
A clinician from the MacPhail Center for Music will teach jazz ensemble skills for an entire school year of ‘Flex Friday’ mornings, allowing access for all HHS students. Student musicians will develop a large jazz band, two small combos, and prepare for three spring concerts. They will learn to play by ear rather than sheet music and become immersed in one of the great American art forms.
Jazz is founded out of the musicianship and self-expression of enslaved people and is historically reflective of the Black American experience. This vibrant music from New Orleans includes strains of the blues, jazz, social club bands, and brass bands. Students will learn Black American history along with the music. Tycast hopes to develop jazz feeder programs at both junior highs, and perhaps beyond.
Hopkins High School
Submitter: Nora Tycast