Fishers Jazz Ensemble Marches Fourth to ISSMA Jazz Contest


Group of jazz ensemble students performing at the Purdue Jazz Festival on Jan. 22. Photo courtesy of Carson Barnhill.

Kylee Booher, Guest Reporter

Shooting for a spot at ISSMA State finals, the FHS Jazz ensemble competed at ISSMA on March 4.

The Fishers Jazz Band contains many components, including trumpet, trombone, sax, and a rhythm section ranging from a variety of instruments. All these instruments are vital to the success of an ensemble. Many members of this ensemble had their favorite pieces to play. 

“My favorite piece was definitely ‘Always and Forever,’ mainly because that was my trumpet solo feature. It’s a great tune all around,” trumpet player senior Jamie Walton Jr. said. 

On the other hand, trombone player senior Daniel Cooper said his favorite piece he has played this year is ‘Love for Sale.’ 

“This is because one of my favorite jazz artists, Buddy Rich, has an amazing recording of it and the song is just the definition of a fast, loud and proud swing chart,” Cooper said. Cooper also explained that his favorite song was one of the harder ones to learn due to fast tempo and difficult rhythms.

The Fishers Jazz Ensemble is a class that rehearses during the school day. Usually they do a warm-up for five to ten minutes depending on how many solos they want to do. 

“We start going into our music by difficulty. If we played a certain tune bad last class, we would start working on that one,” Walton said. 

The director of the Jazz Ensemble is Todd McCready. This is his first year working with the jazz band.

“Mr. McCready is honestly doing amazing. He is very interactive and makes sure that we learn all aspects of jazz,” Walton said.

At the ISSMA jazz contest, according to Walton, “We did ten under what we needed to get to the state finals. But, the program only grows from here.”  Cooper went on to explain that it is extremely impressive that the Fishers Jazz Band still earned gold with distinction. 

The jazz ensemble will be hosting a concert on March 30 in the auditorium at 7 p.m.

“If you want a great look into how cool the jazz class can be, you should come to the concerts or Jazz Cafe on May 3,” Cooper said. “There will be free desserts and good music.” 


Flyer for upcoming jazz cafe on May 3. Photo courtesy of Daniel Cooper.