Fitch jazz bands swing in holiday spirit

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.The high school's jazz ensemble 2 played second during the Holiday Jazz Festival. Wesley O'Connor directed the band. They meet voluntarily twice a week in the morning before school to practice. Pictured, the group played "Baby It's Cold Outside."

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.The high school's jazz ensemble 1 ended the Holiday Jazz Festival. Pictured, the band played "Jazzin' the World," a rearrangement of Christmas classics done in the styles of other famous musicians, such as Miles Davis.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Fitch's jazz ensemble 1 also performed a number of holiday songs, such as "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" and "The Christmas Song." Pictured, the trombone section played a solo during "Feliz Navidad."

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Each of the three jazz bands at Fitch's Holiday Jazz Festival had a number of soloists who played during songs. Pictured, Jasmine Dahl performed a solo on her tenor saxophone during "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch."

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Austintown Fitch High School had its annual Holiday Jazz Festival in the Fitch auditorium on Dec. 18. The night opened with the middle school jazz ensemble directed by Jeremy McClaine. They are pictured playing "Holiday Jam."

By ZACK SHIVELY

zshively@vindy.com

The three Austintown Fitch jazz ensembles performed holiday music on Dec. 18 in the high school auditorium.

The performing bands were the middle school ensemble, the high school’s jazz ensemble two and the high school’s jazz ensemble one. Each band had soloists that added an improvisational element to the holiday classics.

The middle school jazz ensemble directed by Jeremy McClaine opened the night. They began their six song set with “Frosty the Snowman“ and closed with “Winter Wonderland.“ The played a song called “Holiday Jam“ that featured a medley of holiday songs with three soloists throughout.

The jazz ensemble 2 performed five songs under the direction of Wesley O’connor. The group does not have a set time during the school day to perform. Instead, they voluntarily meet twice a week before school starts to practice their music. The group played classics such as “White Christmas“ and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.“

The jazz ensemble 1, also directed by O’Connor, finished the night out strong. Like the middle school, they also performed a medley of Christmas songs in a song called, “Jazzin’ the World.“ However, this arrangement of the medley took the notable holiday songs and gave them a different flair to them. For example, one song imitated Chuck Mangione’s sound while another took on Miles Davis’s style.

They also played classics such as “The Christmas Song“ and “Feliz Navidad.“ The band gave a funky rendition of “God Rest You Merry Gentlemen.“ Their version of “Up on the Housetop“ featured solos from many students in the band. They ended the night with “Jingle Bells.“

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