Concertgoers were treated to the Walsh Intermediate School Jazz Band, which performed before the main act of Jay Rowe and Jeanette Harris a week ago on the Green. The band opened with “Night Train.”
“It was a thrill for the kids, and all their family members to be the first group to do a warm-up spot for the Jazz on the Green Series,” said recently retired teacher and band director Carol Titcomb. “It was a very special ‘swan song’ for me as well,” she said, referring to her retirement.
Li Hayes, the mother of band member Dorian Hayes, contacted committee member Charlotte Mattei, and the jazz committee agreed to let the group perform at an upcoming concert. The group’s banner told the story.
Band members L-R included Ali Dorsi, Dylan Royka, Brandon Veroneau, and C.J. Doyle.
The group performed four songs in a 20-minute set. The band consisting of 11 students and an adult member played “Night Train,” “Killer Joe,” “Saint James Infirmary,” and “Tequila.”
Titcomb came back to lead the band.
Drummer John Tedeschi now plays in the high school band.
Titcomb mentioned that the band rehearses before school at 7:30 a.m. two days a week and one afternoon after school during the year. The jazz band is made up of seventh and eighth graders, who have advanced playing skills and are members of one of the school’s music ensembles.
Before the group finished there was a large crowd on the Green.
There are no auditions, but the kids are given a trial period to see if they feel comfortable learning jazz styles and playing a large volume of music.
The band director said, “Many of the jazz band members also play sports, are members of other clubs and organizations, perform in the school musical, and find a way to juggle it all with their school work.”
Jazz alumnus Adam Jackson, now a BHS student, waves to the audience as he’s introduced.
So does Dorian Hayes as he’s introduced by Titcomb.
Dave Ocame is a substitute teacher at Walsh and the high school, and mentors young students.
Besides performing at school concerts and assemblies, they perform within town as a community service. They have played at the Orchard House Adult Day Care Center and several nursing homes as well as the tree lighting of the “Keepstake” unit of the Hearth at Gardenside and the Relay for Life survivors’ luncheon.
Proudly she added, “Our jazz band has performed in concert with the Branford Town Band, for the Branford Musical Arts Society, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers hockey team and now the ‘Branford Jazz on the Green Series’.
“Guess you can tell how proud I am of all our current and past jazz kids,” Titcomb said.