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RMS and RHS Jazz Ensembles Host Dazzling 10th Annual Jazz Coffee House

Freshman bass player Caroline Crane, freshman bass guitarist Cole Pankowski, and freshman percussionist Josephine Schiedel perform at the Jazz Coffee House, held at the high school on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024.

Randolph Jazz Ensembles, featuring student musicians from both RMS and RHS, presented their delightful 10th Annual Jazz Coffee House to an appreciative audience at the high school Commons on Wednesday, Jan. 24.

“The middle school band sounded really great to me. All the bands played way better than I thought they were going to be playing,” commented Visual and Performing Arts Supervisor John DiEgidio after the show. “And this Coffee House was so well attended; it really felt more like a jazz club.”

Three bands performed at the Coffee House: the RMS Jazz Ensemble, RHS Jazz Ensemble I and RHS Jazz Ensemble II. The RMS Jazz Ensemble performed first, under Director Thomas Davidson, kicking off the night with an upbeat piece called “Augustus Gloop” by Danny Elfman from the film “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.” The ensemble’s second performance was the cheery piece “Hot Chocolate” by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri from the film “Polar Express.”

The RHS Jazz Ensemble II, under Director James Scanlan, was up next. They started off with the mellow tune “Straight No Chaser” by Thelonius Monk, followed by a relaxed piece by Horace Silver called “Song for My Father.” Their last performance of the night was a dramatic piece called “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” by Joe Zawinul.

The last ensemble of the night was RHS Jazz Ensemble I, under Director Nick Fantazzi. They performed four songs: “Salt Peanuts” by Dizzy Gillespie and Mark Taylor; “A Child Is Born” by Thad Jones; “Sunny” by Bobby Hebb, featuring a piano solo from senior Kevin Tish; and “Manteca” by Dizzy Gillespie and Mike Tamaro.

“It’s great to be a part of something in the school; it’s a great community,” said sophomore Eli Khan, a Jazz Ensemble pianist. “This event really brings everyone together.”

The audience capped off the truly special night with enthusiastic cheers and applause, after which everyone celebrated the show’s success with pastries.

All money raised by the Randolph Band Parents Association from the $5 admission fee went toward the Randolph jazz program, namely for upgrading equipment and funding the musical guest artist for the upcoming Spring Band Concert.

 Editor’s note: The upcoming 48th Annual Spring Jazz Concert will be held on April 24th.

About the Contributor
Drew Milberg
Drew Milberg, Staff Reporter
Drew Milberg is a freshman at RHS who is thrilled to be a first-year staff reporter for Rampage. Drew plays soccer and baseball for the high school and spends much of his free time watching and playing sports. 
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