By Hope Su
The Highlander Jazz Band has been a central part of the Granada Hills Charter High School performing arts program for over 50 years. Over the years, Jazz Band has taken first place in a variety of festivals and competitions, including the Conejo Valley Area Jazz Festival and the prestigious Westlake Jazz Festival.
The incredibly diverse and talented jazz ensemble includes a large variety of instruments such as the guitar, saxophone, piano and drums. The current director of Jazz Band, Cameron Guerrero, specializes in guiding students in becoming real-world musicians.
Many students who are a part of this ensemble wish to pursue music outside of school in the future. Young musicians, therefore, have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by participating in many local and community events such as Open House and the State of the School Ceremony.
“Jazz Band is very diverse and accepting of everyone in the band. We are happy to welcome players who love practicing with us and who will put in the work to make our band the best that it can be,” junior Margaret Chibidakis said.
If a student is interested in furthering his or her understanding of jazz they can choose to take other music classes such as Music Technology AB and AP Music Theory AB in Jazz Band. If you are interested in joining, visit the Choir Room in D-2.
Overall, Jazz Band offers students the opportunity to build new relationships with other students while pursuing their passion for music.
“What I enjoy most about being a part of Jazz Band are the friends and connections you make, connected by the common passion for music that rebels against the traditional style. That’s what jazz is, more than a genre, but a way of living. It sounds cheesy, I know, but jazz represents free expression, and that’s what connects us all in Jazz Band,” senior James Youssef said.