Got rhythm? High School Ensembles jazzed it up

Liberty Union High School District puts on a show at LMC

Jeanelle Pagaduan, Staff Writer

The Liberty Union High School District jazz ensemble performed Monday, April 17 at the Los Medanos College Recital Hall to a packed house of family, friends and jazz enthusiasts. The concert featured student musicians from Liberty, Heritage and Freedom high schools, along with renowned guest artist Mary Fettig on alto saxophone. The concert was a rousing success, showcasing the impressive talent and hard work of the music programs.

The concert began with the Heritage Latin Jazz Combo’s rendition of “Do It!” by Francisco Torres, which set the tone for the rest of the evening. The student’s tight ensemble playing and precise articulation immediately caught the audience’s attention, and it was clear that this would be a night of skillful jazz.

Saxophonist Mason Pfaltzgraff wowed the crowd with his virtuosic solo on “Nzembo Na Mvula (Song of the Rainforest)” by Fred Strum. His skillful chords and fast-paced runs elicited thunderous applause and cheers from the audience.

Another standout performance was by trumpet and trombone players Jack Brooks and Jacob Laure. These students from Liberty High School impressed the crowd with their solos in a soulful rendition of “Arnge Drank” by Paul Baker. Their smooth delivery and ability to work together in unison awed the audience.

Throughout the concert, Fettig joined the ensemble on stage, lending her musical experience and unique style of playing the saxophone to the already impressive group of musicians. Her fluid lines complemented the ensemble perfectly, adding a touch of sophistication and depth to the repertoire.

“People are at different levels in terms of their experiences,” said Fettig, “but it was also very cool to see them practice in rehearsal and at the concert tonight… just to see that they get inspired by each other.” 

In addition to classic jazz standards such as “Twilight Serenade” and “Boplicity,” the ensemble also showcased some more current compositions by contemporary artists such as Bon Iver. These pieces blended elements of traditional jazz with more modern sensibilities, resulting in a fresh and exciting sound that delighted the audience.

The concert was a true testament to the students’ love for jazz, their talents thrilled all their loved ones in the audience. The hard work and dedication of these three high school’s music programs and its talented students were on full display, creating an unforgettable experience for all who attended.