Here at STM, excellence emerges from every aspect of student life; from sports, to academics, to the arts. STM is praised for its amazing music programs, the Vocal Ensemble and the Concert Band, newly named Knight rMore. But there is another music program that is garnering well-deserved attention.
The STM Jazz Band is a smaller ensemble, containing STM’s brightest and most talented musicians. Run by Mr. Santos, the STM Jazz Band excels, performing ten to fifteen times a year. Receiving gold medals in both Chicago last year and New York the year before, they strive for excellence.
The Jazz Band practices every Thursday, unless there is an upcoming competition. Practices become a bit more “intense” before a competition. “In music…there are two aspects…the serious side and…a fun side…but sometimes you have to get down to work,” noted Mr. Santos.
“[Jazz] promotes self-democracy, self confidence and self-esteem…give [a student] a horn and they can stand up and improvise and express themselves with their music…where they cannot express themselves verbally or in a written format," said Mr. Santos.
This year, the Jazz Band has played at the CYO (Children Youth Organization), school board functions, and even Canada’s Wonderland. When asked, Mr. Santos stated that, “Wonderland was all about fun. We played and got adjudicated, but it was all about fun.” Possibilities for next year’s trip are now in the works, but it has been reported that the trip will be for all three ensembles.
STM has a booming population of musicians, especially compared to other high schools. Not only with the Jazz Band, but with the Vocal Ensemble run by Ms. Gordon, and the Knight rMore run by Mr. Gagnier.
Jazz Band is always looking for fresh new faces. An audition is required before joining the Jazz Band, but it is well worth the extra effort in order to grow as a musician.