The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

Band program to perform Sweet Night of Jazz tomorrow


From 7-9:30 p.m tomorrow Nov. 15 in the main gym, multiple band ensembles will perform in the annual Sweet Night of Jazz event. The event is a benefit concert for the band programs, with tickets sold $20 for adults and $10 for students; tickets can be reserved in advance with secretary Dianna Johnson in the fine arts activities office or at the door. 

The setup of the concert will not be like a traditional fine arts concert; instead, audience members will sit at tables similar to that of a sports banquet. Band students and Shortwave Coffee will provide food and drink.

Director of bands Patrick Sullivan said Sweet Night of Jazz has been a tradition for just more than a decade and has become a staple for the fine arts program since then.

“It initially was like a dinner dance,” Sullivan said. “And then about eight years ago [former band director] Steve Matthews turned it into what [it] is now.”

Sullivan further explained the details of the event, saying there will be a silent auction and a performance by Jabberwocky Studios, a local dance instruction studio.

“People are welcome to stay for the whole thing or come in just for a little bit,” Sullivan said. “The Jazz ensemble will predominantly play. . . You’re going to hear lots of improvisation, lots of different sections and people featured at different moments, and you’re going to hear a big diverse amount of music.”

Sullivan said the jazz band will play eight to 10 charts, and the jazz ensemble will play roughly 16 charts. Junior bass trombone player Clyde Silvey, a member of the Jazz ensemble, said this event is one of his favorite of the year.

“I like the uniqueness, and the fact that rather than being a formal concert where your parents and maybe a few friends are coming to see you perform and act [rigid], it’s more fun and relaxed,” Silvey said. “You pay a decent amount of money, but you go and see these kids that have worked [for] months on creating this cool music.”

Silvey said he attended the event the previous two years and enjoyed not only the music, but also how the performers appeared to have more fun performing in the Sweet Night of Jazz setting.

Senior baritone sax player John Hasset, a member of the symphonic band, agreed with Silvey’s comments. Although Hasset isn’t performing in the event, he attended the event for the past three years, saying each year is more and more entertaining.

“I played my freshman year and then dropped jazz subsequent years to pursue other subjects, [but] I go every year and it’s real fun. . . [There’s] lots of desserts and bad dancing,” Hasset said. “I go to support my friends and also because I like jazz. Even people that don’t like jazz can enjoy it because there’s a lot of desserts and a good excuse to try to dance with someone you might be crushing on.”

Hasset said he strongly encourages people to attend the event to show support for the school’s band programs. 

“[People should] go to support, and also because it’s fun to just eat cake and dance poorly with your friends,” Hasset said. “I’m looking forward to the baklava I’m going to make for the event.”

Sullivan said on top of the dancing and food, the types of music performed will cover a wide variety.

“[There’s] anything from old classic swing music to an arrangement by Stevie Wonder,” Sullivan said. “It’s [going to be] a cool evening. People can grab a dessert, enjoy some jazz, dance [or] sit back and relax.”

What activity sounds like the most fun at Sweet Night of Jazz? Let us know in the comments below.

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