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Lancer Spirit Online

The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online

At Jazz All-State, performers are “surrounded by people with a similar passion”

Photo used with
Conductor Dr. Kevin McDonald with the Honors Choir. Dolan, a member of the ensemble, says the group’s mutual love of music bonds them. “In school ensembles, there’s often a few people who don’t love music as much as you do, but in this group, you’re surrounded by people with a similar passion. And because of that, the group seemed to click much faster than in school ensembles.” (Photo used with permission by Timothy Dolan.)

The annual Jazz All-State concert isn’t just another school concert. It is a symposium of New Hampshire’s most skilled and dedicated music students working together to perform challenging pieces to the best of their ability. Students from across the state rehearsed and performed elaborate Jazz pieces from Feb 8-10th.

Among these talented musicians were five LHS seniors: Killian Daron, bass vocalist; Jason Reilly, tenor saxophonist; Timothy Dolan, tenor vocalist; Joseph Cain, tenor vocalist; and David Todd, trombonist.

With ensemble members being from across the state, members make quick connections through their love of music.

“Not knowing many of the musicians beforehand forces you to be an extrovert and make connections while you’re making such an amazing product,” Daron said. “That just goes for music in general. Being friendly and making connections will only help you.”

Students got to know each other quickly, though, with long, intensive rehearsals focusing not just on the music they were performing, but on the way they were performing it.

“We were taught about the importance of our body language and how we influence the crowd,” Reilly said. “One of the key things I remember my director saying was, ‘Why should the audience come to see you? They could just listen to professional studio recordings. Make it worth their while to not just hear you, but see you.”

Dolan agrees, describing how his director encouraged him to put more emotion into the songs they were singing.

“During the process, our director really focused on making sure we were being expressive and really communicating what we were singing on a deep emotional level,” Dolan said. “Other technical things, such as vowel placement, breath support, dynamics, and articulation, were also stressed, but my biggest takeaway was the emotional stuff and focusing on really connecting with the audience as well as other performers.”

For Cain, the experience helps him branch out more into different genres of singing.

“I think this event helps me every year as a musician because I am very much more of a classical singer,” Cain said. “So I love being on the jazz side of choir just so I can compare and if I like how they teach a certain topic more than the ‘traditional way’ then I make sure to keep note and try it on the choir that I created at the high school.”

Cain, who has been participating in the Honors Choir for three years, encourages students to audition “even if they do not believe in themselves.”

“It sounds very intimidating, but the ensembles and directors are super kind and welcoming,” Cain said. “These experiences played a big role in my life and how I found my love for music.”

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About the Contributor
Bridget Berry
Bridget Berry, News Editor
In her first year on staff, senior Bridget Berry holds the position of News Editor. She enjoys writing, listening to music, and knitting in her free time. Outside of the Lancer Spirit, she partakes in musical theater and is part of the school's chamber choir.

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