In Appreciation Of Jazz Band Directors

To the Editor,

On behalf of all students in any of the four Newtown Public Schools Jazz Bands, I would like to thank all of our Jazz Band Directors. The directors of the Reed Jazz Ensemble are Phillip Beierle and Robert Nolte. The director of the Newtown Middle School Jazz Ensemble is Mark Mahoney. The director of both the Newtown High School Blue and Gold Jazz Ensembles is Kurt Eckhardt.

More specifically, I would like to thank them for preparing us for last night's concert, the 15th Annual Newtown Night of Jazz, which took place at Newtown High School. Each of the groups performed four songs from their set lists. I personally was impressed with how many soloists that the Reed Jazz Ensemble had. It is quite unusual for a fifth and sixth grade jazz band to have so many great solos! Newtown Middle School has a strong, power driven jazz band that varied in styles of music, covering Swing, Funk, Ballad, and Latin. They had many improvisation solos, most notably the drum solo of Matt Lundquist. The Newtown High School Blue Jazz Ensemble played a variety of pieces, some old and some new. Newtown High School Gold Jazz Ensemble, the highest Newtown Schools jazz band you can be in, sounded great (as usual). Most impressive was tenor saxophonist Richie Sadlon's full-song solo on a song called Loverman, along with the many other solos.

In addition to many other concerts, Mr Mahoney and Mr Eckhardt led the Newtown Middle School, Newtown High School Blue, and Newtown High School Gold Jazz Ensembles at the University of New Hampshire in the spring.

Once again, thank you to the jazz band directors!


Thomas Jensen

5 Miya Lane, Sandy Hook                May 12, 2014

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