Navy musicians jazz up instruction for Winman players


Winman Junior High School jazz band students were in for a treat yesterday, as 12 members of the Navy Jazz Band sailed in to give them feedback about mastering their musical instruments.

Seventh and eighth graders said they were jazzed for the visit.

But, it isn’t the first time they’ve docked at Winman; it’s the band’s second visit.

“I listened to them last year when they came and played and I really liked it,” said eighth grader Victoria Smith, 13, who plays several string instruments, including violin, cello, guitar, bass, ukulele, mandolin, as well as keyboard. “It’s good to have them here giving us critiques and helping us. I’ve learned how to react more with the band and how just one beat off can impact the whole band.”

Another eighth grader, Jake Stachurski, 13, agreed and said he enjoyed the previous performance and was looking forward to seeing them again. He also was eager for the music clinic.

“I’ve learned that it’s good to have other musicians there because you can depend on them,” he said, as he plays trumpet, plus violin and trombone.

Eighth grader Eric Mechanic, 14, has been playing tenor sax for more than six months and said they taught him the importance of listening to the other musicians to perfect his craft.

Seventh grade clarinet players feel the same. Jasmine Gallo-Fusco, 12, Emily Trahan, 12, and Hunter Leigh, 12, think it was “really cool” that they got the opportunity to meet with the Navy Jazz Band so they could share their input.

“It was nice to see what they had to say to help us out,” Jasmine said.

Winman Jazz Band Director Peter Kiley, who also instructs the concert band, honors band and orchestra, was just as thrilled as the students for the visit. He said he put in an online request to the band for them to make an appearance, which they do for free as part of a community outreach program.

MU First Class Eric Snitzer led the Navy Jazz Band and said they will be stopping by 12 more schools this month through February.

“We love doing it,” he said.


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