Area students show off jazz talents Vernon. Area school jazz bands perform at Vernon Township High School.
The High Point Regional Jazz Ensemble plays for a full audience.
By Vera Olinski
Jazz at the Flats featured five area school jazz bands, June 5, at the Vernon Township High School. The location venue was changed from the flats to the cafeteria due to previous wet weather. During the evening, the Vernon Glen Meadow Middle School Jazz Band, High Point Regional Jazz Band, Wallkill Valley High School Jazz Band, High Point Regional Jazz Ensemble, and VTHS Jazz Express played music which had a full cafeteria of attendees involuntarily tapping their feet. Glen Meadow Band Director Josh Jenkins, Wallkill Valley High School Band Director Jeff Colarusso, High Point Band Directors Cacey Carroll and James Aslanian, and VTHS Band Director Max Taylor showcased their students’ music. Clear brass tones, smooth singing saxophones, and outstanding percussion, keyboards, electric guitar, and bass played spot on rhythms, including swaying Latin tunes. Claps and cheers met perfect timing and jazz riffs — with an occasional high-five among musicians after nailing a piece. President of the Instrumental Parents Booster Ken Hogan said one of the things they love about the Vernon school system is how devoted everyone is to the music program. He said one sees how much is put into the program by how good the kids play. “It’s like going to a professional show,” he said, throughout the course of the marching band season and all the concerts. Hogan commented that he and his wife had moved from New York City to Vernon specifically after researching how good the music program is in the township. They currently have a sophomore and eighth-grader in the school system and music programs. The IP was there, he said, to work the program and always try to raise money. He commented, the music programs need so much support, especially with all the cut-backs coming down the line. Their fund raising efforts have got to exceed, he said, and try to double what they did last year – just to keep the programs going. While working behind the snack concessions tables, he said, all this helps with the fundraising. IP Public Relations Contact Pam McCann said the event was a recital for the Jazz Bands — in order to feature their music.