Playing From the Heart
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On Thursday, November 10, the ISU Jazz Band traveled to Twin Falls High School to visit with bands in the area. They came to teach students about Jazz music and traditions. There were over 30 students from six different schools who attended the event.
Jonathan Armstrong, visiting from ISU, taught the students. He was a professional Jazz musician from Los Angeles. Armstrong has had a lot of experience, which helped him to teach the students attending. Jerome has a Jazz Band unlike many in the area, so it is no surprise that it was a huge learning experience for all the students in attendance.
Hiroshi Fukuoka, JHS band director, said that the event was a huge success. He mentioned that he tries to bring in other people to teach his students because he feels it is important that they learn from many other people because he can’t teach them everything.
“Jerome band can learn so much from someone that is not me,” said Fukuoka.
He also expressed his support for other schools in the area. Fukuoka believes that it is important to share his resources to develop fantastic bands. This is Fukuoka’s fourth year being the band director at Jerome High School. He says that the band had its best performance at their concert on November 1.
The JHS band does very well in its competitions. For example, they won 2nd place in 1A division, 1st place in District IV, and overall best visual at Southern Idaho Marching Showcase in 2015. The Jerome band competes in 1A because of their band size not based on their school size. In Idaho, only Marching Band competes, compared to Jazz and Concert, which perform at festivals, receiving scores, but not competitively.
Senior Ben Andrus is a well esteemed member of the JHS Band. Andrus plays the trumpet and ukulele. He participates in the Marching, Concert, and Pep Band at JHS. He has been a part of District Honor Band for two years. Andrus also competes in football and wrestling. Ben has been in band for 7 years, and it is no wonder why he finds such a passion in it.
Andrus said, “My favorite part about band is being able to be a part of the music. It’s not very often that you can really get into a song but also be a part of the reason that it sounds so good. It’s such an emotional thing to be involved in. It lets me express my creativity and play a major role in something bigger than myself.”
The Jerome High School band plays such a major role in school spirit. Be sure to support them by following along to our school songs they play and other upcoming performances.