AHS Jazz 1 Ensemble swings through senior center

Published 11:28 am Saturday, January 26, 2019

Bringing the funk, Austin High School’s Jazz 1 Ensemble performed a gig at the Mower County Senior Center on Friday afternoon.

While visitors enjoyed their meal, 17 student musicians played sets of music they practiced throughout the year. Director Christoph Dundas explained that these students have practiced different types of music from swing to more funk or traditional jazz.

“Students, when they’re playing somewhere, strive for a greater level of perfection for their musical performance,” Dundas said. “It’s great to see music being brought out into the community and to show what they’ve been working on.”

Steven Conradt, an Austin High School senior and saxophonist in Jazz 1 Ensemble, performs a solo during a performance at the Mower County Senior Center on Friday afternoon.
Hannah Yang/hannah.yang@austindailyherald.com

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After inclement weather stalled the ensemble’s previous engagements during November and December, Dundas said that his students were getting ready to perform at additional events such as their upcoming concert on Feb. 3 at the Paramount Theatre. Both the high school and middle school jazz bands will perform at 2 p.m., with tickets being sold at the door. Discounted tickets are available if those interested wanted to contact Dundas or any of the jazz performers. That concert will also feature a guest trombonist from the Twin Cities.

Austin High School seniors Steven Conradt and Willem Huizinga, shared their enthusiasm for performing in the community and having a chance to hone their musical skills beyond the classroom.

“This group really grew a lot since the beginning,” Conradt said. “Getting to perform out in the community really makes these performances much more personal. You get a connection with the community, and you’re playing pieces that they may have heard a long time ago. That’s why you get a heightened sense of perfection to share that with them.”

However, it was their relationships with their fellow classmates that made the overall experience that much more enjoyable.

“This really is an amazing group to play with,” Huizinga said of the ensemble. “We are a real jazz group, and it’s tight knit. It’s a family basically.”