Audience enjoys 'Moonglow' and more at Swingin' in the Park Jazz Festival

May 05, 2012|By DON AINES |
  • Andrew Volz, left, and Michael Langmyer of the South High jazz ensemble are featured players during, "somewhere Over the Rainbow," Saturday during Swingin' in the Park jazz Festival at Hagerstown City Park.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

“I feel so famous with all these adoring parents,” Carly Whiteman said before launching into “Moonglow” at the Peter Buys Band Shell at City Park in Hagerstown.

The senior at the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts performed her strong vocal backed by the school’s contemporary music ensemble under the direction of Mark Cook. The ensemble was one of 11 music groups from around Washington County to perform Saturday at the 14th annual Swingin’ in the Park Jazz Festival.

“Carly is Hagerstown’s answer to Aretha Franklin,” Cook told the audience.

One hundred or so people were scattered about the benches as Saturday’s afternoon shadows lengthened toward evening. The crowd shifted as one school replaced another on the stage, but if they stuck around, they heard some pretty good jazz, such as Karina Grogg’s vocals on “The Girl from Ipanema” or the jazz viola solo by Christina Thompson, both of whom also attend the Barbara Ingram School.

Boonsboro High School’s jazz ensemble and vocal jazz ensemble performed a string of standards, including “Stormy Weather” sung by Bonnie Boykin, and Daliss Gordon rendering a soulful “Everything.”

“It’s just our second year in existence, and we’re looking forward to growing,” Paula Boyd, Boonsboro’s vocal music director, said of the vocal jazz ensemble.

“Today was different from any normal high school performance,” Boykin said of the open air setting. “You felt you were up close and personal with the audience.”

The concert featured a mix of middle school and high school jazz combos, with the younger musicians taking the stage before their neighboring high school counterparts.

The Smithsburg Middle School jazz band was going to perform Motown instrumentals, including “My Girl” by The Temptations and “I’ll Be There” by the Jackson 5, said Sid Rao, an eighth-grade trombonist.

The Smithsburg High School jazz ensemble’s lineup for the evening included “Mint Julep” and “Jive Samba” by Alan Baylock, the chief arranger for the Airmen of Note, the U.S. Air Force’s premier jazz ensemble, band Director Gary Rupert said.

E. Russell Hicks Middle School, South Hagerstown High School, Northern Middle School, North Hagerstown High School, Boonsboro Middle School and the Smithsburg High School combo also performed Saturday.

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