LIVINGSTON, NJ — James Hegedus, Director of Jazz at Livingston High School (LHS), has announced this week that three talented students from the LHS Lancer Jazz Band—Shourya Bansal (bass trombone), Alan Wu (trumpet), and Ian Hurrel (guitar)— successfully auditioned for the New Jersey Association for Jazz Education (NJAJE) Region I Jazz Ensembles.
“Every year, talented youth from Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren counties prepare music to perform for judges,” said Hegedus, who has been sending students to these auditions for nearly two decades and said he was “beyond thrilled” to have three students this year. “Many students audition, but not every student scores highly enough to be selected for the Region Jazz Ensembles.”
The student musicians practice a jazz etude and memorized scales to perform for judges made up of local music educators. In addition, students must sight-read an excerpt of music, and perform an improvised solo.
“These are very hard-working students,” said Hegedus. “The auditions are intense and can be nerve wracking. We’re always proud of all of the students who take on the audition, regardless of their individual outcome.”
The students completed four intensive rehearsals and had their concert on April 7. Dr. Jeffrey Kunkel, Director of Jazz at Montclair State University, conducted the NJAJE Region I High School Jazz Ensemble.
These students will now audition for the NJAJE All-State Jazz Band on Monday, April 29, at Rahway High School. The students who made Region Jazz Band in the other two regions (central and south) will compete against each other for spots in the prestigious All State Jazz Band.