Jazz and Wind Ensembles will Travel to New York to Play at Historic Venues

Savanna Winiecki, Staff Writer

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The LHS Jazz and Wind Ensembles will travel to New York from April 7-11 to perform at the Apollo Theater and Carnegie Hall.

Jazz Ensemble, directed by Tim Barclay, will have their debut at Carnegie Hall on Sunday, April 9. Wind Ensemble, directed by Adam Gohr, will showcase their talent on Apollo Theater’s stage on Monday, April 10.

The two groups will experience a lot on their trip, including performing on historic stages, playing for professional musicians or college directors, receiving feedback at a clinic, seeing a Broadway show and sightseeing throughout New York.

“It’s going to be a really cool experience. Just to say [the band members] performed on the same stage as all these great artists is really cool. On top of that, the clinic part, where they are getting some really valuable feedback and are able to continue improving as musicians is really important to [the band directors],” said assistant band director Mr. Matthew Karnstedt, who is traveling with the groups as a helping hand, over email. “The whole experience [is] something memorable they can take away, not only saying they have performed at this place but to take away some of those more educational feedback.”

Mr. Karnstedt believes the clinic aspect will provide useful information not only to the students but to the band directors as well. The clinician leader is still undetermined. He looks forward to seeing what other knowledgeable band figures have to say and using that feedback moving forward in his teaching profession.

“The trip in general will be an ‘I’ve done that moment.’ My other bandmates and I can say to whomever in the future that we had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of playing at the Apollo Theater and Carnegie Hall,” said junior Nicholas Berklan, an alto saxophonist for both Jazz and Wind Ensembles, over email.

Jazz and Wind Ensemble will play at a festival at the Apollo Theater and Carnegie Hall that will host other high-performing bands from around the country; however, this is not a competition. Mr. Karnstedt sees this as a good chance to learn from other bands. The general New York audience, other bands and some parents will be spectators for the Jazz and Wind Ensembles.

“I think the most memorable part of the trip [will be] the bonding and team effort the ensemble has put into this performance,” said junior Maxwell Chan, a saxophonist and baritone saxophonist as part of Wind and Jazz Ensembles, over email. “All of the hard work we have done has brought us closer together and we have learned to trust each other in order to pull off this gigantic feat. The reward will be all the better when we finally get to perform on that stage.”

Wind Ensemble is offered as an academic course at LHS, so the band members practice together every day, whereas Jazz Ensemble practices twice a week after school. On top of this, students practice on their own time.

This will be Jazz Ensemble’s final performance of the school year; Wind Ensemble has a few more later in the year.

“I know from a department setting, being able to do one of these trips, being able to play at great places is kind of a good draw into our program in terms of being able to recruit,”  expressed Mr. Karnstedt, “and being able to say these are some of the really cool things we’ve done and here are the really cool experiences you can get if you join our program.”

Chan shared similar thoughts: “LHS has amazing music programs that receive great opportunities. LHS Band, Jazz, Orchestra and Choir are only a few examples of what our school offers. It might sound cheesy, but being part of any of the music programs here is like being part of a family and is truly a wonderful experience.”

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Wind Ensemble will perform at the Apollo Theater on Monday, April 10.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.
Jazz Ensemble will perform at Carnegie Hall on Sunday, April 9.