Jazz Band Travels to UW-Stevens Point to Improve Skills, Learn How Other Schools Play Jazz


Ben Wolcanski, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

The NDA Jazz Band went to UW- Stevens Point last week to get some feedback on what to work on and what sounds great. 

The trip was mainly to learn new skills and techniques to make jazz music sound, not just good, but great,” said junior Kevin Angoa, one of the band’s members.

The Jazz Band, led by Band Director Steve Johnson, went not only to learn new skills but also to experience how other schools play jazz.

“The trip was about improving our skills and to enjoy listening to college students play very impressive pieces of jazz music,” Angoa said.

Senior Camden Chrudimsky, who has been involved in Jazz Band since his freshman year, said, “The UW-SP event was really fun because we got to not only perform but also participate in a master class with fellow trombonists.”

Chrudimsky, who started playing jazz in middle school, said he found jazz “interesting” because “the music had a different, more personal feel than traditional concert music.”

“Since then,” he continued, “I have really worked on my jazz improvisational skills and have learned how important it is to the foundation of jazz.”

The senior said he is “looking forward to the UW-GB Jazz Fest in May because of its emphasis on working with a guest musician.”

Jazz Band here at NDA is an extracurricular–not a class–that practices at 7 a.m. every Monday and Friday.

“It’s not a class. It’s more like an extracurricular because it doesn’t go towards your grade, but it is nice to play different kinds of music just to make things seem more interesting,” Angoa explained.

“Jazz Band matters to me because I play the saxophone, and it’s one of–if not the most popular kind of instruments–to play for jazz music. I’ve always been in love with jazz music. It just gives good vibes. It’s a real stress reliever. I also have the passion to do an improvisation solo someday,” he said.

To sign up for Jazz Band, talk to Mr. Johnson, who will help you get started. 

The band director himself “had a passion for jazz since high school and played in various groups all over the state and even traveled to Slovakia to perform there a couple of times.”

He has been running the jazz band here at NDA since the fall of 2017. Mr. William Hill ran the jazz band before that.