Esko Jazz Bands Really Swing – Cloquet Pine Journal
On Friday, December 8, kids, grandparents and everyone else loved listening to Esko’s Jazz I and Jazz II bands. Concert, big band and Christmas music swept through the audience, inviting people to the dance floor of the Esko High School cafetorium.
Sisters Ellynor Barta, 10, and Lucy, 8, twirled and danced to almost every song, prompting cheers and whistles from the audience as they showed off their moves. They were there to watch their big brother, Nathan, play the piano in the band.
The musicians demonstrated their skills throughout the night under the direction of long-time teacher and enthusiastic saxophone player Rich Mowers.
“One of my goals is to teach kids to love making authentic music with their instruments and to have fun,” Mowers said.
Several students performed solos during the event, some with instruments while others sang.
Mike McIvain lifted his 11-year-old daughter, Grace, and swung her around as she smiled from ear to ear and members of the public clapped their approval.
A drum solo brought another round of shouts and shouts of appreciation from the listeners.
A silent auction for a dessert fundraiser featured a variety of pies, cakes and other treats donated by several restaurants. The $750 raised is donated to the Esko Jazz Fund to purchase equipment and other needs for the band, as well as scholarships for students to attend jazz band festivals at local colleges.
PHOTOS AND TEXT BY JAMIE LUND