ROXBURY, NJ – The Roxbury High School music program nurtures many good players who then have few opportunities to perform locally once they graduate, said local Scout leader Robert Williams.
That’s why Williams, a musician who heads the Roxbury Boy Scout Jazz Ensemble, is working to create a Roxbury-based, volunteer jazz group.
An open rehearsal for the proposed ensemble is scheduled for June 3.
“We’ve been doing the Boy Scout Jazz Ensemble for several years now” Williams said. “My thinking is there are a lot of people out there in Roxbury who don’t have a vehicle to perform with after they graduate from high school. Some other towns have community ensembles, but Roxbury doesn’t.”
The rehearsal for the proposed group will take place at Investor’s Bank Theater (at Horseshoe Lake in Succasunna). Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and rehearsals begin at 4 p.m.
“We have great performing arts at the high school but no after-program” Williams said. “My thought is to take the Boy Scout Jazz Ensemble format and try to give it a shot at the community level to try to attract more musicians. I’m pretty excited about it.”
Williams said the Roxbury Arts Alliance agrees with him and “is very positive about helping out with this.”
The upcoming rehearsal will be open to “anybody out there” who wants to play jazz, especially woodwind, brass, percussion, piano, bass and guitar players, Williams said.
“It’s basically going to be a jazz repertoire at this point, but it may even morph into … a town choir,” he added. “That’s why vocalists are invited to attend. I am not qualified to lead a choir, but if there’s somebody out there who wants to start one …”
Williams, a radio personality with 101.5 FM, has a bachelor’s degree in music. He’s led the Scout ensemble for eight years.
Williams hopes the new community ensemble, if formed, can perform a concert this summer at the Horseshoe Lake Bandstand.
To RSVP for the rehearsal email: JAZZBAND.RAA@Gmail.com or call 973-479-1448.