Check out the new Music site for SVHS.  You’ll find recordings of the performances and a schedule of upcoming events.  Next up, see the Jazz Band perform at the SVHS Fashion Show on March 24th at Stone Tree Golf Club.  Check out more coverage of the SVHS Jazz Band as reported in a recent issue of the Onlooker, SVHS’ award-winning student newspaper.

Jazz Band captivates all in attendance

By Anna Griffin

            The St. Vincent de Paul High School Jazz Band, brought up out from the underground just one and a half years ago attracts an unexpectedly large audience during the night of their December 1st, 2011 concert. The band had Tillman Hall so jam-packed that audience members had to line the walls.

The night started off strong with the beginning zero period set of four songs, two of which had been composed by members themselves. There was much life in the audience and there aroused a great deal of excitement.  “I have only been playing the saxophone for a month,” says freshman Tavia Vitkauskas. “It’s so scary being up there.”

The performers continued on in a rhythmic harmony throughout the night as the second first period set took their turn. They managed to swiftly change instruments throughout the night, often each contributing to two or three different elements. The tone of the show went fluidly from a fast pace into a more mellow tone, from Bag’s Groove  to Mahna De Carnival. “I feel like we are getting close together as a family. It’s amazing, we are so in sync with each other when it comes to music and just in general,” replies Zander Jacamo.

Throughout the show, each performer kept themselves perfectly composed and was able to get into their music, and really feel the beat that they were setting. “Jazz band gives me an opportunity to communicate something that I couldn’t normally do with words,” responds sophore Nick Cafiero. The melodic sound of the percussion composed itself into the sound of acoustic guitar, played by Dante Licata (sophomore). The emotion was almost tangible in the audience as the ukelele starts in, humming its sweet melody followed by the cascade of the piano.

The audience is entranced and the only movement in the stilled room is the transition of the artists around to stage. Kenzie Chelemedos (senior) stars in My Girl to sing the famous solo, accompanied by the violin solo,  by Emerald Jones (sophomore) and the rest of the instruments that compliment the smooth rendition of the beloved song.

By the end of the night, crisp trumpets, played by Dusty Oliver (sophomore) and Andrew Giraudo (senior), form a strong base for the other instruments to form perfect compatibility with.

The director of this beloved program, Gio Benedetti, is paid tribute to by some of his students. “Gio gives me organization, I am kind of a disorganized guy, and tips that I could never have thought of myself, “ replies Nick. “Oh, I love Gio. I love Gio as a teacher and just as a person. He is so nice and s collected. He just keeps us all together so calmly and has a relaxed way of doing things,” adds Zander.

By the close of the night there were many eager attendants, “I have been to all-100%. I have NEVER missed a St. Vincent concert EVER, in the history of Jazz Band. The long one and a half year history, I have never missed a concert,” explains Mr. Shick. “I really love music. I have always loved it. Seeing all these kids [perform], who are my students, its awesome.”