Jazz band plays with the pros


Band director Logan Doddridge hands John Seaver his Louis Armstrong Award

Abigail Vondy, Staff Reporter

Seaver receives Louis Armstrong Award

Jazz is characterized by improvisation and syncopation, held together by a compelling rhythm and Eaton’s Jazz Combo and Jazz Ensemble have been practicing these aspects of jazz the entire year. As they performed seven songs for the community Thursday May 2, they demonstrated their understanding and improvement of this type of music as a whole.

During the first ever all-jazz band concert held at EHS, hosted special guest appearances from professional musicians David Moore (trumpet), Zach Rich (trombone), Darrel Watson (tenor saxophone), Spencer Zweifel (piano), David Baker (bass), and Eaton’s own Mr. Doddridge (drums) who gave the band members a little taste of what jazz at a professional level looks like. Band Director Logan Doddridge said, “It was all about creating what the kids would actually experience in a real jazz setting. The kids knew what tune we were going to play, but they had no idea about anything else. Everything else was improvised. That’s what jazz is. It’s not written out, and that was a really cool experience to give them.”

The jazz bands had the privilege of performing and practicing next to some of the professionals the previous few weeks in order to ready themselves for the performance. Darrel Watson, one of the earlier mentioned professional said, “The thing I enjoyed the most was that the students were really excited and that was exciting for me, too, because I don’t often get to work with people who are so excited about jazz.”

With the moving performances from the professionals came a bitter-sweet goodbye from jazz band seniors. Trumpet player John Seaver (19), who won the Louis Armstrong award for his musical dedication throughout the year, said, “It was the last jazz performance that I will ever

have at Eaton High School so it was cool to spend it with the people that I’ve played with for four years.” And what a good last performance is was. Addie Burke (22), tenor saxophone soloist, described how much the band has improved since the beginning of the year. “At the beginning of the year we were pretty good individually, but together we learned how to listen to each other and know each others sound and how to helped each other out. We’ve grown so much,” Burke said.

The Eaton High School jazz bands have developed tremendously throughout this year and the performance proved how their understanding of jazz has created a beautiful relationship between the students and their music.