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    Coming this Spring-- "JazzCats" Jazz Band

    Attention Musical WildCats! Whittier's "JazzCats" Jazz Band is now in its sixth year, continuing under the exceptional leadership of Mark Oesterle, former instrumental music instructor at Whittier.

    Are you inspired by Miles Davis? Do you want to learn how to do a jazzy groove? Then the NW Region "Jazzcats" Jazz Band is your calling. Whether you are a beginner or advanced musician, we hope you will join us. 

    Weekly practice sessions take place on Thursday afternoons in the Salmon Bay School music room.

    Having a jazz band at the elementary school level is a rarity — take advantage of this, 4th and 5th grade musicians!

    Uncertain because your student is a first-year instrumentalist? This recent Q&A between a parent and Mark Oesterle (the Jazz Band instructor) might be helpful:

    Parent: I saw that the JazzCats is open to 4th and 5th graders. Can kids brand new to their instruments play in the band? Or are you looking for more experienced kids?

    Mark Oesterle: We take kids new to their instruments.  I try to adapt tunes so newer members play simpler parts while more advanced members play the more advanced parts.  We play a lot of the blues, and if the kids can play the notes thru page 8 in their standard of excellence books, they should be able to participate just fine.  And a main focus is on improvisation, so kids can have fun experimenting with various rhythms even if they can play only one note when they start. 

    Hope that helps answer your question!  Let me know if you have any others.