Junior High Band
Jazz Band Tips

Decide on a Junior High Jazz Band Philosophy

I disagree with the purist's opinion that there should only be one player on a part in the junior high jazz band. Even though we doubled, tripled, and even quadruped the parts at times, we were still able to play musically and in tune. Most of the time we played with two rhythm sections, one on each side of the band. We often got comments from judges like, "This group gives new meaning to the words 'Big Band'." I definitely feel that participation is more important than perfection at this level.

Video Disclaimer

The attached videos are not perfect examples of how each tune should be played. They are recordings of junior high students, some of whom have had their instruments for only a few months. Also, they are not professional recordings. They were taken by band parents using home equipment and naturally focusing on their own children.

I include them for two reasons: (1) To give you an idea of what the arrangements are like, and (2) To illustrate the kind of performance you can expect from your junior high students.