Jazz Fest!

On April 24th, the Wayne Valley Jazz Band hosted eight jazz groups for the All Wayne Jazz Festival, right here at our school. Some of the groups included our own Wayne Valley Jazz Band, the All-Wayne Elementary Honors Band, and an ensemble that consisted of the music staff throughout the district.

This event alternates hosts every year between Wayne Valley and Wayne Hills. The students of the Wayne Valley Jazz Band ran the festival along with help from some students escorting other bands to their warm-up areas and students wandering the hallway, whether they were showing where the bathrooms are or opening the door for an audience member.

I talked to Mr. Batiz, the band director here at Wayne Valley, about the success of the festival. He said he thought the festival was very successful. “It was important to me to showcase how healthy the music department is in the district, especially at Wayne Valley.” Batiz stated that his favorite part of the festival was “meeting all the kids. Being the host put me in a position to actually speak to the students/groups. I was able to wish them luck, and congratulate them.”

At the end of the festival, the last group the perform was a staff band. This was made up of musical directors throughout the district, from elementary school to high school. Batiz played in the staff band and recapped his experience in the ensemble: “It was fun to get together with all the directors, and not have to be the “directors.”  We have some very talented musicians on our staff, and I thought it was important for kids, parents, and administration to see that their music staff isn’t just a group of fine educators, but incredible musicians.”

Overall the festival was a huge success for our musical department. It brought publicity to our outstanding music program while also having some fun in the process. The Wayne Valley Jazz Band’s next performance was at Trumpet’s Jazz Club in Montclair, New Jersey on Monday, May 21st. It featured the Wayne Valley Big Band! Everyone that went had a great time!