Arts Around Terrace: Mountlake Terrace High School gets in the swing

Jazz I with Jon Hamar Quartet

Story and photos by Lori Knight

Mountlake Terrace High School jazz bands took the stage on Thursday night for the first concert of the season, which opened with three standards by Jazz II leads. Many families of band members were in attendance, along with the community, to hear the special guest — the Jon Hamar quartet — play with Jazz I.  Continuing with tradition, as Director Darin Faul commented on stage about the various bands at the high school,  ” I like to mix professionals with students- we do this all the time with music.”

Earlier this week students of the Jazz I and II programs at the high school had the opportunity to work with Ron Carter  (an “in school ” Essentially Ellington clinician) on one specific song,  “Harlem Air Shaft,”  a Duke Ellington signature piece featuring as it often does, those iconic train sounds. Duke Ellington spent an enormous amount of time composing music on trains.

Alumni Marina Christopher jams with the students in the newly created, “after the concert” jam session room.

Members of the Jon Hamar Quartet joined in on the second song,” Fables of Faubus“,  a Charles Mingus classic, which has become a student favorite for musicians at Mountlake Terrace High School over the years.  A final Count Bassie tune, “Sweet Georgia Brown” was highlighted and then to conclude the concert, the Jon Hamar Quartet took the stage with their five song set featuring several tunes from their,  “Hymn” CD and a few new tunes set to record tomorrow!  Particularly enjoyable was their rendition of, “Abide with Me” .  One doesn’t often hear a hymnal that is both solemn and sultry at the same time!  Members of the quartet are: Jon Hamar ( bass), Rich Perry (tenor sax, plays with the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and Maria Schneider band), Todd DelGuidice ( alto sax- Earshot Jazz), and Julian McDonough on drums. ( WWU)

Director Darin Faul with Jon Hamar Quartet — end of the evening!

Sitting in the audience tonight were Mountlake Terrace alumni Marina Christopher and Peter Galus, both students of the jazz program.  Christopher has gone on to graduate from Central Washington University and was a student of Jon Hamar.  According to Christopher, ” Hamar is the top call bass player in the area.  I was fortunate to have class and one on one studio sessions with him while at Central.”  When I asked what differentiates his style of playing from others, she said, ” He’s relaxed. “  After the concert, and interviewing Hamar, he splits his time as a professor between Central Washington University, Northwest University ( Kirkland) and Edmonds Community College.  Last summer, he was an instructor at Centrum.  This is in addition to his recording, writing and touring side of life.

If you missed tonight’s concert there is a second chance to hear the Jon Hamar Quartet perform with Jazz I again this Saturday Oct. 20 at noon at the Mountlake Terrace High School Theatre auditorium.  It’s the annual Edmonds School District Jazz Symposium and features jazz performances from 17 district bands from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The event is open to the public and free.

Here is what’s coming next for the Mountlake Terrace Bands:

Nov. 8 is a free concert for all Veterans  featuring the Symphonic, Wind Ensemble and Chamber Winds along with special guest Western Washington Wind Ensemble; time 6 p.m.  Mountlake Terrace High School Theatre auditorium

Nov. 10 is SWING,  SWING , SWING  Dance. Free for all Veterans;  $5 for  public, otherwise.  The night will feature the Jazz I and II ensembles,  swing dance  instruction, silent auction, magician, food; time: 7 p.m.  Mountlake Terrace High School gymnasium

Dec. 8 is  Breakfast with Santa at  Mountlake Terrace High School Hub  featuring various Edmonds School District performance groups.  Breakfast: $7,   Seniors and Students: $5.   Children under three are free.  Pictures with Santa: $7.  A crafters corner will also be featured.

Dec. 14 is a performance by Jeff Hamilton Trio. Visit MTHS Bands for details

To learn more about MTHS Music Boosters and read an opening letter from current booster president Sherrill Leppich, see here.

Arts Around Terrace columnist  Lori Knight co-owns — with her husband Eric — the Knight Visions Studio Gallery.A Brier resident, Knight has been selling, promoting, marketing and framing art for 25 years. She opened her studio at 19533 Filbert Dr., in nearby Bothell. in 1987. Both of her children — Briana and Chris — are Mountlake Terrace High School graduates. (Photo by Patty Linna)


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