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Jazz groups join for memorable performance

Students from Edison and Fountain Valley high schools gather for what many hope will become an annual event.

May 29, 2013|By Susan Davis
  • Edison High School's Richard Graham performs with the school's jazz band.
Edison High School's Richard Graham performs with… (Amber Davis, HB…)

Edison High senior Richard Graham recently gathered his and Fountain Valley High's jazz bands for what many hope will become an annual performance.

The Edison High School Black Box Theater was the venue for the show May 23. It was the first in which the two groups performed together.

The performance was the culmination of Richard's senior CIBACS (Center for International Business and Communication Studies) project. CIBACS is a four-year program at Edison featuring competitive projects, job shadowing and internships with business partners.

All CIBACS seniors complete a senior project designed to reflect the student's interests, abilities and talents. Since Richard plays the trombone for the Edison jazz band, his senior project was to produce a concert showcasing the jazz bands of Edison High School and other local high schools. The Fountain Valley High School Jazz Band graciously accepted Richard's invitation to perform along with the Edison High School Jazz Ensemble.

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The Fountain Valley band performed first, with Assistant Music Director Mark Irons announcing that this event was "not a competition; it is just about the spirit of music and sharing that with the audience."

The Fountain Valley student musicians performed "I'm So Excited," "I Feel Good," "Sesame Street" and "Soul Man." Then the Edison ensemble performed "Area 51," "Big Noise from Winnetka," "The Jive Samba" and "1.21 Gigawatts." Edison's Instrumental Music Director Tim Benge thanked the Fountain Valley High Jazz Band and Irons for attending, noting that the eventwouldn't be half the show without them.

Fountain Valley High School Band Booster member Andra Johnson, whose son Ian Johnson played the trumpet in the Fountain Valley band, said the concert featuring both bands was "a great chance for the kids to hear each other play" since they do not have the opportunity to do so during the rest of the school year.

Richard was responsible for all the logistics, including contacting the other schools, arranging the event through the Edison High activities office, booking sound and lighting technicians, arranging for concessions and many other tasks.

At the end of the evening, Richard shared his appreciation.

"Thank you to Dr. Benge for believing I could do this, and thank you for Mr. Irons for taking me seriously," he said. And to both bands, thank you for coming. I feel pretty good now."

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