Sinclair launches citywide youth jazz ensemble

Auditions will take place in person on Monday, August 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. The deadline for online submission is Friday, August 19. The ensemble will rehearse at Sinclair on Mondays from 5:30-7 p.m. There is no cost to participating students.

“The way it works is basically any music teacher can nominate a student,” Burns said. “I refer it to group directors and instructors of private lessons with children who they think would like (the set) and would be a good boost for them. It will be a challenge for the students, but they will return to their school group and be more jazzed up by the jazz.

Nominated students will receive a link to Google Classroom, which will contain full information for online and in-person auditions.

“Because it’s online learning and because of all the craziness, students are quite familiar with Google Classroom,” Burns said. “There are audition materials in the classroom and they can choose something to play. They can email me a video of them playing if they want. There is also an in-person audition date. Whatever works best for that particular student, and we’ll work from there. I ask them to play a song by Charlie Parker, the full range of their instrument and their full chromatic range. Improvisation is optional. I don’t want to (stop) anyone (from auditioning) because they don’t feel like good improvisers. It’s something we’ll be working on as a whole.

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Fueling Inspiration

According to Burns, a citywide group like this is important because it gives students with limited options the chance to explore jazz in their own schools. Programs for jazz combos and other small bands are often overshadowed by larger ensembles like marching band and harmony.

“I’m not against marching band, I’m not against any ensemble, band, band, orchestra or anything, but there aren’t enough opportunities for students to play jazz,” Burns said. . “If anyone feels the call to play this music, it’s a chance to do so.”

A group of young people like this can also help spread awareness of the music to which Burns is so devoted.

“In terms of pop culture and accessibility, the jazz ensemble is a bit out of the way,” he said. “The connotation is that jazz is old, but it’s very much alive. Jazz is not old. Jazz is new and dynamic. Jazz is America’s art form. It’s American music, and Ohio has done a lot for the development of jazz in America and around the world. We’ve had a lot of great jazz musicians come from our state. Many of them went on to play with Charles Mingus, the Count Basie Orchestra and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. We want to get the next generation of Roland Kirks, Joe Hendersons and Norris Turneys. »

Burns, who worked with the aforementioned Cincinnati Youth Jazz Orchestra in the 2000s, looks forward to his new educational adventure.

“I definitely feel a call to try to help young musicians on their way because people helped me when I was a teenager and in my early twenties,” he said. “I still feel the inspiration now from the people I play with who are twice my age. There’s a member of my band Sinclair who just turned 80 and he’s moving and rolling. The inspiration is timeless and timeless I want to inspire kids and I want kids to inspire each other, and this is a good laboratory for that to happen.

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