MCC jazz band performing at Detroit Jazz Festival Sunday

August 30, 2014
MCC Jazz Band

MCC Jazz Band

By Kate Krieger. MCP Senior Correspondent.

SCOTTVILLE – Not many high schools offer jazz band as an elective and even for those schools that do, the bands rarely have the opportunity to perform on a stage as large as the annual Detroit Jazz Festival. But, the Mason County Central High School Jazz Band just happens to be that lucky and that good.

MCC Jazz Band performing Friday at the Mason County Allied Veterans Vietnam Wall Project.

MCC Jazz Band performing Friday at the Mason County Allied Veterans Vietnam Wall Project.

Under the direction of Tom Thomas, MCC band and choir director, the jazz band was chosen to perform at this year’s festival from 11:30 a.m. to noon, Sunday, August 31 at the JP Morgan Chase Main Stage at Cadillac Square, on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Bates in downtown Detroit.

The 21-piece jazz band needed to score a “1” at the annual Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA) Jazz Festival in order to be eligible to be chosen to perform at the jazz festival.

“We needed a one in order to be eligible,” Thomas said. “We got the one at Jackson High School back in April.”

Four members that will be joining the 21-piece band are incoming freshmen that Thomas said were going to be playing regularly in the jazz band this coming school year.

“I invited them to go with us,” Thomas said. “They get to play on one number with us to get a sense of what jazz band will be like.”

Out of all the schools eligible, only six were chosen and MCC was one.

“Chances to go a few years back were a lot greater because they took more schools,” Thomas said. “Now they only choose six.”

In 2004, the MCC Jazz Band made its last appearance at the festival and the community is very excited to have another group of high school students represent them again.

The band will be playing five songs including “Funny Valentine,” “Get Happy” and “Deacon Jack’s Gospel Shack.”

Thomas said that none of the students need to audition to be a part of jazz band, but they just need to play a jazz instrument. Many of the schools they competed against had bands consisting of students who had to audition in order to make the cut, which in return makes each festival the bands perform at a lot more competitive.

Thomas is very proud of his students and he is very excited for the performance this weekend.

“It’s just me and the kids,” he said. “We do what we do. I’m proud of them. They made it happen. We’re going to have a lot of fun.”


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