Evan Hardy Collegiate offers many opportunities for students to dip into the genre of jazz. Beginning in Grade 9, students can join the junior jazz, and in later years, the senior jazz band and Jazz Studies 20/30. The extra-curricular junior and senior jazz bands rehearse once a week after school, and jazz studies runs every other day, alternating with the senior concert band. Concert band is a co-requisite of jazz studies.
Jazz studies is designed for students to explore the craft of improvisation, which is at the heart of jazz. The course focuses on listening to the works of the masters, chord/scale study and improvising on various pieces central to the jazz repertoire. An emphasis is placed on developing aural skills through big band. By the end of this course, students should have a basic understanding of jazz and direction for lifelong learning.
Jazz band students participate in many concerts and festivals throughout the year and have opportunities to travel, which may include festivals, clinics and performances. Additionally, students have many opportunities throughout the year for community performances, volunteer opportunities and mentorship with youth in our community.
The jazz studies class has participated in the CBC Music Class challenge several times, entering a student-arranged Canadian piece.