IHS Jazz Band: A Look at Ipswich’s Top Tier Tooters

Ryan Orroth, Journalist

      What many students may not know is that Ipswich High School boasts a highly talented and competitive Jazz Band. Although the ensemble comprises only around 20 students, including three 8th graders, the group’s small size is no indication of its potential. The Jazz Band’s exceptional collective skill is a testament to the dedication and passion of each of its members.

       The Jazz Band is discerning in its choice of participants, allowing only a select few instruments to be featured. Among these are trumpets, trombones, saxophones, guitars, drums, and a french horn. Each instrument section is led by a talented student, with Nadine Kelley as the lead saxophonist, Mark Norris as the lead trombonist, and Elijah Bergner as the lead trumpeter. These section leaders, along with the rest of the band, work diligently to create a captivating and harmonious sound.

      Despite the group’s modest size, the Ipswich High School Jazz Band consistently performs at a high level, earning accolades in numerous competitions. These events are judged by professional musicians and take place at various locations, primarily in Boston. 

       In their most recent competition, the Jazz Band achieved an impressive first-place finish, securing a gold medal in the regional finals. This outstanding result has qualified them for the State finals, which are scheduled for Saturday, March 25. The band’s continued success demonstrates each member’s immense talent and hard work.

       While many students only participate in the Jazz Band for up to two years, senior Chase Hansen is enjoying his first year as a member. Hansen’s experience highlights one of the primary differences between the regular high school band and the Jazz Band: the music selection. As Hansen says it, the Jazz Band plays “cool music that we normally don’t play in concert band.”

       The unique songs featured in the Jazz Band allow students to explore a broader range of musical styles and techniques, challenging them to grow as musicians. In addition, the more intricate and engaging music played in the Jazz Band often piques the interest of students who may have yet to consider joining the ensemble. This diverse and exciting selection of pieces sets the Jazz Band apart from the standard concert band but also contributes to its appeal for students and audiences alike.

        Under the guidance of their dedicated director, Mr. Sean Lee,  and driven by its members’ passion and hard work, the Ipswich High School Jazz Band continues to make a name for itself in the world of competitive music. As they prepare for the upcoming State finals, the band is sure to bring their best performance to the stage, building upon their already impressive accomplishments.

      In conclusion, the Ipswich High School Jazz Band serves as a shining example of the incredible talent and dedication that can be found within the school’s music program. Their consistent success in competitions and the passion displayed by each member are truly inspiring. As the Jazz Band prepares to take on the State finals, we wish them the best of luck and look forward to celebrating their future achievements.