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Rye High Musicians Shine in Spring Jazz Night

RYE, N.Y. – More than 50 Rye High school and Middle school student musicians performed for fellow students, parents and other community members on Thursday at the school's Spring Jazz Night.

The evening began with the Middle School Jazz Band, which started off by playing "My Favorite Things," followed by "Sambeando" and "Seismic Strut." Next up was the High School Lab band, which played four songs including "Fly Me to the Moon" made popular by Frank Sinatra.

Wrapping up the evening was a performance from the Jazz Band as its members played jazz classics like "Manteca" and "Everything In Its Right Place" by the rock band "Radiohead" and "Soul Sacrifice" made popular by Carlos Santana at Woodstock.

Rye music teacher Todd Beaney spoke about the commitment made by the students and the behind the scenes work that goes into creating an evening like the Jazz Night.

"In the case for every band it's an extracurricular activity and you have to give them a lot of credit for fitting it in," Beaney said. "Sometimes it's not that easy, but they feel that it is worth it."

Beaney added that he and fellow music instructor Dan Brown look to incorporate a mix of structure, creativity and tradition.

"We try to expose them to different jazz styles and allow them the opportunity to improvise," Beaney said.

Although the evening was filled with cheers and good times, Brown acknowledged that the spring concert is always bittersweet as the school says goodbye to another crop of seniors.

"It's always hard to say goodbye, but it's been a joy and pleasure to work with them for seven years," Brown said. "I wish them well and we will miss them all."

Brown singled out four Seniors in particular with the Woody Herman and Louie Armstrong Jazz Awards, given to seniors who display exemplary commitment over the course of their tenure.

Saxophonist Ben Lee and drummer Tyler Breckenridge were honored with the Woody Herman award, while Peter Wittwer and Charlie Volow were honored with the Louie Armstrong award.

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