Hall High School Concert Jazz Band Plays at “Jazz for a Cause”

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Sunday, November 3, the Hall High School Concert Jazz Band hosted “Jazz for a Cause,” a charity concert at Trinity-on-Main.  Every year this concert raises money for a selected charity that provides either musical instruments and/or lessons for students that do not have the financial means to afford them. 

This year, the students of the Hall Jazz Bands chose “Horns for Kids” as the organization to donate the money to.  The concert raised 2000 dollars this year. The charity’s mission statement states, “Horns for Kids has three goals: to award clean, playable instruments to deserving Connecticut schools, to promote musical performance by children in school music programs and to support excellence in music education.  Horns for Kids accepts donations of new and gently-used instruments, has them refurbished if necessary, and awards clean, playable instruments to deserving school music programs throughout Connecticut.”  

“Jazz for a Cause” also serves the function of inspiring younger musicians and creating connections throughout the music program, as it is a show that includes the King Philip Middle School Jazz Band, Bristow Big Band,  as well as the Hall High School Jazz Ensemble.  

The students in the band have a few meetings before the concert to decide which organization they want to donate their earned money to. They felt Horns for Kids best represents their own goals for the band. 

The students in Concert Jazz Band all know how expensive it can be to play an instrument. You must purchase it, maintain it, take it in for cleanings, pay for lessons, pay for field trips with the group, and pay for all of the different clothes you have to wear for those performances. 

Lots of families don’t have a couple hundred dollars laying around to buy their rising musician a new instrument when they begin playing music, and then another one when they reach a more “intermediate” level.  On top of that, there are the costs of lessons, as well as the cost for transportation to those lessons, and so on. By eliminating one of those costs, Horns for Kids aims to get more kids involved with music that otherwise could not afford it.

“I hope that they can see that whatever their goal is, you have to give back to the community and to the people. No matter what life issues are occurring, it is important to do good for people” says Hall High School band teacher James Antonucci. 

On the other hand, through the student perspective, jazz band junior, Tobey Siegal, reinforces Antonnucci’s point with “It teaches the fundamental lesson that the relationship between individual and community must be a symbiotic one.”  Mr. Siegal believes that in order for a community to give to an individual, that individual must give back. He goes on to state that “ In other words, we, as students of West Hartford Public Schools, are afforded many privileges for which it is only right to give back, not only out of gratitude but pure philanthropic desire as well.”

Tobey emphasizes how people may think negatively towards this event, but ensures that people understand the true reasoning and why they have decided to run this event. One of the most important things the student’s in the jazz bands are taught in West Hartford is that you must give back to your community, because, without the strong community that was built for them, the program would not be the one it is today. 

Throughout the year the Hall High School Concert Jazz Band does many concerts to support the community around them.  Some upcoming concerts include those of the elementary school tour where the high schoolers play at elementary schools whose students will eventually go to Hall High School.  This tour is one of the few times that the Concert Jazz Band features many old favorite holiday tunes.