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The FHE Jazz Band

A Spotlight On One of Eastern’s Many Music Ensembles
Image courtesy of Wannapic.

For the average Eastern student, school begins at 7:40, with most people arriving after 7:20. However, there is a small group of people who begin their school day at 6:40. These are the people who have a zero-hour class. There are three classes students can select from if they want to participate in zero hour: Strength and Conditioning, Eastern Singers, and Eastern Jazz Ensemble.

While Eastern Singers and Strength and Conditioning are relatively well-known, Jazz Band is not talked about as much. After speaking to several members of this class, I’ve learned there are a variety of reasons why people love this class; myself included.

When asked what various members enjoy about jazz band, I received several answers. Peter Mouw (’25) explained, “I really like the music. We play a lot of great songs from a lot of different artists. Mr. Langejans does a great job with directing. It’s very different from concert band, and it has a different feel to it.” Taj Terry (’25), who plays, drum kit, had a similar sentiment. “I think the comradery and the ability to make music is a nice way to start the day,” he comments.

“I really like the music part of it.  It’s very different from the music we have played in marching band and concert band. There’s a lot of variety. We play a wide range of music, from pieces arranged for a jazz band, to recent pop songs.” Sophia Wolter (’25) elaborates.

Despite the class occurring during zero hour every day, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the class is worth taking. “Definitely. Being able to experience my passion and play music every day makes it 100% worth it,” Sophia Wolter says. Peter related to her statement, adding, “I’d say so. If you really like music and want to play your instrument more and get a different feel of music, it is definitely worth it.” While waking up in the morning might be hard and not fun, “In the morning it doesn’t feel like that, but once you arrive, it’s worth it.” Taj Terry says. 

Everyone in the jazz band loves to be there in the morning to rehearse the music they play. Whether it’s rehearsal for a basketball game or an upcoming performance, the jazz band loves their music.

There is not a bad song in their folders. Some songs are more loved than others though. I asked Sophia, Taj, and Peter what their favorite song to play in jazz band was, and the responses were not surprising. “I would say for me personally it’s probably ‘Treasure’ by Bruno Mars,” Taj Terry says. Sophia agreed, stating, “’Treasure’ by Bruno Mars. Although I do enjoy everything we play.” Peter offered a new perspective, however, with his favorite song to play “‘Every Little Thing She Does is Magic.’ We don’t play it much anymore, but when we do, it is super fun to play.” Clearly “Treasure” is a favorite among the band, but with the large variety of songs played in the class, it’s easy to have many other favorites as well.

The jazz band doesn’t simply rehearse and perform from time to time, they also have fun and make memories while they play. “I liked when Mr. Langejans brought in donuts on home football game days. [Those days] we didn’t play much. I enjoyed that a lot.” Peter Mouw says. Taj’s favorite memory on the other hand was “Probably the winter concert last year. The concert is always fun because everyone is in a panic to get organized but once we do, we just go out there and play jazz and have fun.” Sophia then followed up by explaining, “Being able to play in the great hall in the mornings [is my favorite], because I like sharing our work with others, so they can enjoy it too.”

The FHE Jazz ensemble always looks to have fun when playing music. Be sure to listen to their playing in the Great Hall from time to time. They are also always looking for new members, so if you’re interested, make sure to sign up for the class next year Hawks!

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About the Contributor
Nolan Ferguson
Nolan Ferguson, Staff Writer
Nolan is a first-time journalist for the Hawk Herald website. He is a senior who works hard, has a creative mind, enjoys new ideas, loves to have fun, and makes sure the job gets done on time. Something Ferg is passionate about is programming theatrical lighting to music. In Ferg’s free time he loves to work on his light shows for either Eastern Basketball games or personal shows. You can often find him running light shows during basketball games or even performing light shows during halftime.
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