Director: Zack Riley, Jazz Ensemble I & Jazz II
Lamar High School has a rich jazz history. Throughout the late eighties and nineties, Lamar produced award winning jazz ensembles that were the envy of local schools. In recent history, Lamar has again built its jazz program into an enriching and competitive organization. In recent years, many students have made the All-Region Jazz Ensembles. The Lamar Jazz Ensemble was named “Grand Champion” of Music Fest Orlando: 2004, and has earned consistent division one ratings at contests. If you are interested in booking the Lamar Jazz Ensemble or have a student interested in the Lamar Jazz Program please contact Mr. Lang.
Students in the Lamar Jazz Ensemble are in grades 10-12 by audition only. All students have been a member of Jazz II, a second semester, after school group that focuses on learning style, improvisation, and jazz history. The top jazz ensemble meets throughout the school year as an hour and a half class, every other day. Some sectionals are held after school, but most work is handled during class. The focus for both Jazz Ensembles during the school year is to enhance students’ fundamental and pedagogical approach to their instruments while enriching their passion for music through the love and experience of jazz. In the spring semester, the jazz ensemble competes at a variety of competitions, performs at public events around the city, and performs a spring concert at Lamar high school in May.
Many years ago an active parent brought the Essentially Ellington competition to the attention of the director. Since then Lamar has made the Essentially Ellington program a major part of the LHS jazz program curriculum. We listen to the music regularly, and perform the charts on concerts at our school as well as at jazz festivals. The quality of the music is such that it has continually inspired and motivated the students to perform at new levels of artistry.