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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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First Friday ends on high note

Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

The third annual Jazz Festival featured an array of jazz bands from Bryan and College Station over two days.

Finger snapping, foot tapping fun happened this weekend at the Palace Theater in Downtown Bryan. The third annual Jazz Festival, put on by the College Station Noon Lions Club, featured jazz bands from across the Bryan-College Station area for two days, a total of 16 hours, dedicated to the celebration of jazz music.
As a fundraiser, the Jazz Festival goes to support the College Station Noon Lions Club’s local charities, including Fun For Playground in College Station and Lone Star Eye Bank. The festival brought in high school students, college students and professional jazz musicians and vocalists to showcase local jazz talent to the B-CS communities.
Friday night showcased two jazz bands of A&M, including the Aggieland Orchestra, a small ensemble of jazz musicians and vocalists that are a part of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band and perform in the Band’s jazz ensemble during the spring semester.
History Senior Elizabeth Clark, a vocalist for the Aggieland Orchestra, said part of her love for jazz comes from performing with fellow musicians.
“I love the music and watching from behind the scenes during the performances,” Clark said. “We, the other singers, second pianist and myself, are standing in the back, in the corner, and while someone else is out there singing, we’re dancing and singing along.”
Brian Brubaker, a mechanical engineering senior who plays tenor saxophone for Texas A&M’s Jazz Band II, said he has enjoyed seeing the Jazz Festival flourish more and more each year.
“We’ve been in the band here at TAMU for four years, and we were actually here at the first year this festival started three years ago,” Brubaker said.  “It’s been incredible to see how this festival has grown and how much more support it’s getting. It’s just so great that the house was packed tonight, even at 10 pm.”
Another saxophonist for the Texas A&M Jazz Band II, Joey Gabriano, said that performing jazz music acts a way to escape the stress of school and have fun with friends.
“You’re building and working up to it all semester, so it feels good to have your work pay off in the end,” Gabriano said. “None of us, when we get up here, are stressed out. For everyone here, it’s our passion. We don’t do it for the grade, we do it because we love it.”
As a fellow jazz musician, Lions Club member and one of the Jazz Festival’s coordinators, Dick Phelps explains the beauty behind jazz and its revival amongst younger players.
“Jazz is an american art form, the freedom of composition in the moment. It comes from the blues, which were pre-instrument, a feeling then a thought and then released as an idea, either verbally or through an instrument,” Phelps said. “I love going to these schools and seeing jazz being played by young kids, whose talent and discipline in jazz is growing and inspiring a greater appreciation for jazz.”

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