The soft, warbling sounds of Jefferson's Community Jazz Band
Latest News | March 13, 2015
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Director Peter Tummillo enjoys his "mental health night."The Jefferson Township Community Jazz Band brass play the big band sound.The bass blends with the mellow music.
The smooth swing sound keeps the big band beat as the Jefferson Township Community Jazz Band practices each Monday night from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Jefferson Township High School. The band is a semi-professional group of players, with many of the musicians playing in other groups as well.
"1-2-3," and the band plays the "Beer Barrel Polka" with its toe-tapping beat. Their director, Peter Tummillo says, "Don’t go to the optional repeat ... that’d be like Ground Hog Day."
They then continue to play a high caliber of mellow music throughout the night with their vocalist Nancy Koch as she sings "Crazy."
This month the Jazz Band is practicing big band music in order to prepare for the third annual Senior Citizens’ Dance on Sunday, April 26 from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Thomas the Apostle Church of Oak Ridge.
John Koch, the drummer, says that it is the "first time we played some of these." Quite a few are special requests by the seniors from last year’s dance.
Other songs they play are: "Someone to Watch Over Me," "After the Lovin’," and "Love is Here to Stay" by George and Ira Gershwin. Everyone senses a collective, "Ohhhhh, yeah!" after the saxes smoothly sing to a close along with Nancy on the Gershwin number.
Tummillo says, "They don’t have songwriters like this anymore!"
Later, he confirmed, "We were just reading tonight." He also said that this is "my mental health night."
Janet Breckenridge is the Jefferson Arts Committee liaison and pianist. She says that she is the "weak link in the group, and I’m a music teacher."
Next, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. the Jefferson Township Community Band practices. The room is packed full of instrument players of all ages. Evan Silberstein is in eighth grade playing the drums. John Koch jokes, "He’s a better drummer than I am."
Koch and Silberstein warm up with a single, double, and triple paradiddle (rhythmic drum patterns) on the drums.
The band practices "Strike up the Band" and a "Tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein," all the way from "The Hills Come Alive," "King and I," "Girls in White Dresses," to "OOOOO-Klahoma!" with beautiful brass blasts. Next, "The Sabre Dance" contrasts the winds with the brass answering back.
When they reach "The Purple Carnival," Tummillo jokes back and forth with the larger brass instruments about their usual insanity ... because every now and then they have a dotted quarter note.
Tummillo retired as band director from the Jefferson Township High School in 2005. The Community Concert Band is in its 24th year; and the Jazz Band is in its 12th year. They both play at the Jefferson Township Gazebo Concert and Jefferson Day.
Currently, the Jazz Band is looking for trombones. If you would like to be involved in the Community Jazz Band and/or Community Band contact email@example.com.