The Four-School Orchestra and the SHHS/CSH Jazz Combo gave a winter concert last Thursday incorporating a Christmas Sing-A-Long and the girls elementary school’s ensemble.
The two instrumental groups performed together to avoid extracurricular conflicts, including sports.
“Some high school boys play in either the orchestra or the jazz combo and also play basketball, which has games throughout the week, so we combine the concerts into one night,” director Bonnie Fraenza said. “One year I almost cancelled our concert due to a game.”
Putting both concerts on the same night also attracts a wider audience.
“Having both the Four School Orchestra and the high school Jazz Combo play on the same night, invites audience from all four schools to hear what’s happening in instrumental music at SSH,” Fraenza said via e-mail.
The coed jazz group, which offers course credit, is offered to any high school musician who can play an instrument, read music and is willing to practice at home and participate in classes and rehearsals.
Sophomore Sarah Kelson plays the saxophone and is the only girl in the jazz combo.
“At my grade school [St. Theresa’s], everybody was forced to play an instrument,” Kelson said. “Ever since [fourth grade] I’ve had an interest in the saxophone so I’ve been playing in bands.”
The jazz band accompanied the CES eighth grade singers led by Marilyn Charm in “Fly Me to the Moon.”
The Four School Orchestra included students from grades three through 12 as well as and faculty and parents who play instruments.
“The combination of different age groups and style makes the group truly unique and fun to direct/conduct,” Fraenza said. “It focuses on classical, pop and jazz music.”
Auditions are not required to join the orchestra, the only requirements include having the ability to read music; even the most beginner players are welcome.