The Hazen High School jazz band recently had the opportunity to professionally record their music and release an album. Well, sort of.
With the help of a parent (who is also a sound engineer), the 15-student jazz band recorded five tracks that are now available online at Bandcamp for $5.
According to the band director Christopher Coy, a parent of one of the band members, Jerry Schroeder, has been recording live events and passing it to Coy for personal use. But Schroeder had the idea of recording a live album to make it available for the community.
Schroeder brought his personal equipment over to the school, recorded few songs and put it online. Proceeds from the sale of songs will go toward helping the marching band buy uniforms. He plans on recording future concerts and performances, and uploading them onto Bandcamp as well.
“People like that after any concert they can turn on [the album] and listen to it in the car,” Coy said of the positive reception the album has already garnered. “The fact that our concerts are not contained to one night in our auditorium seems like we can share our music quicker with our community.”
The jazz band comprises mostly of juniors and seniors who auditioned for a spot.
“While it has older kids, it is young in experience,” said Coy. But he’s determined to not only improve students in their musicianship, but also team work and critical thinking.
“I look for musicians who can be independent musicians and who can work as a team,” he said. “In order to play music well, you have to be able to think critically about what the composers are asking you to do, but you have to be flexible to work well with other people.”
Coy also said that the band tries to stay active in the community by playing at various events including Earth Day at Newcastle. They have also been working with the city of Renton to perform at future Renton events as well.
Currently, the band is getting ready for their annual Holiday Gala Fundraiser concert that’s scheduled for 7 p.m., Dec. 15 at the Hazen High School auditorium. The concert includes performances from the symphonic band, jazz band; philharmonic orchestra, chamber singers and Divina Voce.
The proceeds from the concert and the silent auction at the concert will go toward student scholarships and the Hazen music department.
The jazz album is available https://hazenhighlanders.bandcamp.com/album/hazen-jazz-band-november-2016.