THS Jazz Bands “Swing into Spring” – Shelby County Reporter

By NATHAN HOWELL | Personal editor

ALABASTER – Guests were treated to four hours of jazz provided by various ensembles from Thompson High School on April 17 during the “Swing into Spring” concert.

The school’s jazz program invited people to come and listen to the soft sounds the various bands had been working on, as an alternative to some of the year-end concerts they usually host.

The bands were set up on a stage in front of the fountains in front of THS, so the event felt like a real concert.

Graham Bennett, director of jazz studies, said he organized the concert as a way to showcase the talents of these groups, which included students and faculty, in a safe outdoor setting where everyone could hang out. feel comfortable.

“It went really, really well,” Bennett said. “We had several hundred people come throughout the event. From what I could tell the temperature was perfect and it was a beautiful sunny day. There was plenty of space for everyone to sit together safely.

Ensembles that performed throughout the concert included the THS Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab Band, Jazz Combo I, Jazz Combo II, Percussion Ensemble and Faculty Jazz Combo. Each of these bands played favorite jazz tunes and other tunes they had worked diligently on to entertain concert guests.

Bennett said one of the best parts of the concert for him was the joy he saw on the faces of his musicians.

“I think most of them were having a blast,” he said. “It was one of the most wonderful ‘return to normal’ type events. The motivation and excitement set them up for some of the best games they’ve made all year. It was one of the best performances they had all year.

This excitement was echoed by friends, family and teachers from the school who were all on hand to support the hard work of the ensembles.

“The crowd reacted really well to the way we played, and it was the first time in a long time that the students had the opportunity to have this,” Bennett explained. “It couldn’t have been smoother. Four hours seems like a long time for a concert, but I feel like it flew by. I could tell the crowd was really enjoying themselves.

Bennett said that with the success of this concert, he hopes to be able to do similar things in the future, so that students and teachers of jazz ensembles have the opportunity to show their talents more often.

“I received several emails and followed conversations with people who said they really enjoyed the concert,” Bennett said. “After talking with the administration, we hope to be able to do something like this again in the future.”

See more photos from the event at

Ada J. Kenney