The Berkley High School Jazz Ensemble warmed up the crowd of several hundred at Sunday’s annual Oak Park Winterfest. The 20-person ensemble played a selection of jazz standards including Earle Hagen and Dick Rogers’ Harlem Nocturne, John Coletrane’s Impressions, and several popular pieces including Chicago’s 25 or 6 to 4.
BHS Band Director Alan Posner drew the “Hi De Hi De Hi De Hi” out of the audience in a call and response to Cab Calloway’s classic Minnie the Moocher. Senior saxophonists Nolan Young and Phil Bednarczyk also livened it up with a duo battle during A Nasty Bit of Blues.
Posner said that Winterfest was a great opportunity for the Jazz Ensemble to perform. “The city of Oak Park put on a great event and our students played well,” he said.
The next Berkley High School band concert is scheduled for February 27 at 7 p.m. in the BHS auditorium. It will feature the Jazz Ensemble, Concert Band and Symphony Band.
In other exciting news, the Berkley High School Chamber Ensemble under the direction of John Robertson placed first in the Worldstrides Heritage Inaugural Music Festival in Maryland on Saturday, Jan 19. The group also received two additional spirit and citizenship awards. On Monday the students will watch the inaugural ceremony in Washington, D.C. before returning home.