H-Hall jazz band performances provide exposure for musicians


Photos by David Polish

Tony Mateos, Staff Writer

When students enter through door one on Fridays, they often find themselves in the midst of a serenade from an ETHS Jazz Band. The Jazz Band at ETHS has a tradition of playing their music in the morning, but you might wonder why. Jazz band members Peter Swanson (Guitar), Nicholas Selvaggio (Drums), Jonah Stewart (Bass Trombone) and Rodrigo Segura (Baritone Saxophone) helped answer some common questions about the performances. 

We perform in the morning to get used to a performance setting,” says Segura. “and being in front of people you see every day helps ease the stress of performing in public.” 

For Selvaggio,  playing in the morning is convenient for the band because their rehearsal schedule is from 7:00 a.m. to 7:50 a.m. This leaves enough time for a lobby performance in the morning during AM Support. 

Stewart adds that it is a good way to expose regular students to the band program because—for the most part—the only exposure people get to the band program is at football and basketball games. Swanson added, “Not to mention school spirit!”.

“Music in the morning in H-Hall also contributes to a better school environment. Jazz music during the morning is just a nice little addition to show our commitment to the ETHS band program and produce that environment of community and involvement in the school,” says Selvaggio.

Performing sets the mood for the rest of the day for some, like Swanson, who feel more energized after performing. 

It seems that the ETHS students like the lobby performances—there’s always a crowd.

— Guitarist Peter Swanson

“It seems that the ETHS students like the lobby performances—there’s always a crowd,” Swanson says.

The jazz band aims to catch people as they get their days started, sometimes accelerating the process. 

“It helps people wake up a bit in the mornings,” says Segura. “Jazz is something most [people] can appreciate so I don’t believe it bothers anyone, but I do think that everyone can use a little motivation when they first walk into school.”

Selvaggio thinks that other clubs should start to do performances too to show what all the ETHS programs have to offer. 

Other non-Jazz groups in ETHS have expressed interest in these morning performances, so there is hopefully more to come. 

“There should be more performances,” insists Segura.  “It would be nice if the school did similar things like open mics in the East lunch room—something that allows people to participate—and maybe there can be explorations of other genres of music that aren’t played in the band program currently.”

Overall, the morning jazz performances in H-Hall help contribute to a better environment at the school and improve the players’ skills. If the interest in similar live performances keeps up there is a big possibility of more concerts to show what ETHS has to offer.