Central Sound of Chattanooga
August 11, 2016
Central’s Concert and Jazz Bands Perform for the Holidays
As Christmas quickly approaches, Central’s Concert and Jazz Bands have been immersed in practice for their Christmas Concert.
The Central Jazz Band’s concert took place on Saturday, December 10, at the Hamilton Place Mall Stage, from seven o’clock p.m. to eight o’clock p.m. The Jazz Band performed holiday tunes such as Big Band Holiday, Good King Wenceslas, Holiday Joy, Away in a Manger, Baby It’s Cold Outside, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and Comfort and Joy.
“I think the students were the most excited for the Jazz Concert at Hamilton Place, because it’s a brand new event and location for us. I think it feels more like a real “gig” than just a normal concert,” commented Mr. Joshua Bloodworth, the Central Band Director.
Many members of both bands have stated that, although concerts are fun, it can be very stressful.
“Concerts are very fun! You get the opportunity to show our family and friends what we have been working on during class,” explained Joshua Sizemore, a Central junior, who has been a band member for five years and had three solos in the Jazz Concert and two in the Concert Band’s Concert.
“As fun as concerts can be, they are more stressful than they are fun. Having solos are stressful, as you are in the center of all the attention and are the only one playing. I cope with my stress and anxiety by getting myself to take deep breaths as I am playing.” concluded Sizemore.
The concert band performed on Tuesday, December 13, in the Central High School Gymnasium, from seven o’clock to eight o’clock.
The concert band performed the songs such as Overture to Miracle on 34th Street, Irving Berlin’s Christmas, Somewhere in My Memory, Christmas Vacation, All I Want for Christmas is You, and Secret Agent Santa.
“I was very nervous, but I usually just make myself take deep breaths. Meditation helps quite a bit as well…talking to my mom helps a lot too actually,” confessed Meghan Johnson, a Senior Central Concert band member that has been in band for six years.
“My favorite song was probably ‘Irving Berlin’s Christmas,” commented Johnson.
Both bands had an extraordinary performance that was well executed, pleasing both old and young with nostalgic pieces.
The actual performances that took place aside, the factors of stress and anxiety in concerts are apparent and it is obvious that there is more than one concert that take place in one school year.
“The overall process that I use in teaching and rehearsing the bands is what I call ‘macro-micro-macro.’ We start by sight reading through the pieces in large chunks or in their entirety. We slowly work our way down to the individual measures of notes and rhythms that needs the most attention, and then we work our way back out to macro by putting all of the smaller pieces back together again,” explains Bloodworth. “By using this process, the students will have worked through all of the individual parts in detail but will have also had several chances to play the pieces through before it’s time to perform them. There will always be anxiety in live performance, and there will always be mistakes. However, by preparing thoroughly, those anxieties and mistakes tend to be lessened substantially.”
Now that the Christmas Concert is over, Bloodworth has revealed that both bands will continue to rehearse and perform for the concerts in the Spring.
“The Concert Band will again perform at the ETSBOA Concert Festival for adjudication along with a Spring Concert. The Jazz Band will likely give two more concerts next semester as well,” stated Bloodworth. “I will continue to look for outside events and venues for the Jazz Band.” concluded Bloodworth.
Busy Season for Central’s Concert and Jazz Bands
Central’s jazz band hosted a “Coffee and Dessert with the Jazz Band” concert Thursday evening and the turn-out was great. Members of Central’s Alumni, members of the community, and band parents came out to support the newly-created band in its first year.
The concert happened to be on the night of the Alumni Association meeting, which allowed many alumni members to see the band.
“As we were searching for a date for the jazz band to preform, I tried to do the concerts on Tuesdays or Thursdays. I also knew that I wanted to have a date somewhere around the end of October or early November to be near the end of the 9 weeks, so that would give us enough times to rehearse and prepare.” stated Band Director, Joshua Bloodworth,”It just so happened that the Alumni Meeting was in the same time period, so I asked Mr. King if it would be okay to have the two coincide. I thought it would be great to connect the Alumni Association with our current kids and would be able to show them how the new jazz program will be a great outreach program for carrying the banner of Central High School proudly.”
Though the band is called the “jazz band” the band does not play typical jazz, one trait that the members cherish.
“The kids are really enjoying the jazz program right now.” shared Bloodworth,”We don’t just play “traditional jazz” or swing music. We play popular music from various decades as well. The first jazz bands functioned as living jukeboxes that were asked to play all of the popular songs and styles of their day at dances and parties. That is the general directory I am wanting to take the group in by performing music from various decades and various styles. We are playing classical jazz swing charts like “Take the ‘A’ Train” and “Round Midnight”, but also the music of pop artists like Stevie Wonder and Adele.”
The jazz band played a variety of music including title: Hello, Superstition, Round Midnight, Africa, Birdland, and a few more.
“I think we preformed really well. The atmosphere was lively and there were people dancing. I feel like that was the best we have played those songs, thus far, and everyone really enjoyed it,” stated Morgan Frame, a sophomore percussionist.
The concert band also had a concert last Sunday, November 6, at Ringgold High School. They played the following selections as their fall concert: Groove Music, El Relicario, Celtic Farewell, Fate of the Gods, Fantasy on a Japanese Folk Song, and Brazil: Ceremony, Song, and Samba. Feel free to click the song names to listen to the music played by our concert band!
Be sure to attend the next jazz Band concert on December 10, 2016 at 7:00 PM at Hamilton Place Mall.
Band Director Joshua Bloodworth is Named October Tennessee Educator of the Month
After being named Educator of the Week for Central High School earlier this October, Mr. Joshua Bloodworth, the Central Band Director, was awarded the statewide title of Tennessee Educator of the Month for October.
“I am completely blown away by being Teacher of the Week in Chattanooga and Educator of the Month for the state!” exclaimed Mr. Joshua Bloodworth.
To be selected as Educator of the Month, teachers must first be nominated by a student and selected as Teacher of the Week for the different regions of Tennessee by the various different news stations. Then, all of the participants’ pictures are placed on the Tennessee Lottery’s Education website to be voted on for Educator of the Month from people across the state. Mr. Bloodworth was a part of a pool of approximately 16 teachers.
“Educator of the Month includes recognition on the Tennessee Lottery’s Education website. News Channel 9 also presented me with a certificate and gift cards to Firebirds this past Monday during band class. News Channel 9 featured me when I was Teacher of the Week and is supposed to be including coverage on Educator of the Month this week and next week, I believe,” elucidated Mr. Bloodworth.
Despite having competition from 16 other teachers, Mr. Bloodworth’s efforts seem to have moved his students to vote much more than the other 16 nominees, all of whom are equally magnificent educators, from around Tennessee.
“The main reason that I was excited about both the teacher of the Week and Educator of the Month recognition was that it all started with a current student nominating me. Then students and others in the community then went online and voted for me. It’s really special that folks thought enough of me to take time out of their day to cast votes,” stated Bloodworth modestly.
“In a day and time when most publicity about education is related to the negative things going on in our schools, it was really unique and special to have recognition of something that others believed was being done correctly here in the Band Room at Central High School. Again, what makes this special to me is that the students and community cared enough about me and believed in what I am trying to accomplish to recognize me in this fashion,” commented Bloodworth.
Not only has Bloodworth’s efforts to refine the students’ skills shown in their music, but it has also moved their hearts.
“I feel like he is a very great educator, and really knows what is best for us as students. It is wonderful that He is the Educator of the Month because he really deserves it,” shared sophomore band member Samantha Townsend. “He always finds a way to joke around in class, but also keeps us focused when necessary. He really does care for us and wants us to have a great musical experience!”
As commendable of an educator that Mr. Bloodworth has proven to be, the question still rises as to what exactly an ideal teacher is like.
“I believe that an ideal teacher must have deep content knowledge about the subject, have a passion for teaching, and mist also know how to build relations with students,” construed Mr. Finley King, the principal of Central High School. “Band compliments him, the students know that he is a tough teacher, but are also aware that he is doing so to refine their skills. People know of his hard work and once he was chosen as the Teacher of the Week, people realized that they could vote for him, and were really happy to be able to help others recognize his efforts.”
Although a number of the Central staff have been recognized as the Teacher of the Week for the county, Mr. Bloodworth is the first teacher from Central High School to be recognized as the educator that represents the whole state of Tennessee.
“I am proud of him. This only reinforces the decision of bringing Joshua to Central,” comments Mr. King.
Mr. Bloodworth’s achievement of Educator of the Month was truly a tour de force. He has captured the respect of his students, his school, and now the state of Tennessee.
“I’ve gotten more than enough recognition to last me for a very long time in the past few weeks. I’d rather the publicity go to my students and their accomplishments as they are my real trophies,” contently concluded Bloodworth.
Central Sound Preforms in 2016 “A Bradley Classic” Competition
Members of the Central Sound of Chattanooga have been rigorously practicing to master the unique sounds of Central’s band. On top of preforming at Central High’s football games, the band competes in several competitions throughout the year to show off their skills. One of these events took place on Saturday, October 2 at Bradley Central High School in Cleveland, Tennessee.
Central participated in “A Bradley Classic” and received third place in the Class AA division, where they competed against many local schools such as Hixson and Red Bank High School.
“Our score of 66.8 was out of 100. However, the winning bands in our division, Signal Mountain, and the winning band in the large band division, Soddy Daisy, which are both fine Hamilton County Band Programs, scored 78.5 and 81.9 respectively. Our percussion, fifth overall, and visual effect, seventh overall, scores were two of our highest scores across the large and small band divisions,” explained band director Joshua Bloodworth.
While band members have been practicing and rehearsing for several months, they only have a few minutes to shine at competitions. Members not only practiced for several days in July, but they also practice every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday during the school year for over two hours every day.
“We did not do too bad, but we definitively could have done better,” stated sophomore marching band member Edicklee Frias-Cruz.
In order to receive these high scores, students must input effort and practice nearly everyday to succeed.
“I told the students this past week that they are only limited by their own effort and focus. They have all of the tools to not only compete, but to win competitions. It’s all about what they choose to do. It is their experience, and I am willing to guide them along to whatever heights they wish to achieve,” shared Bloodworth.
The Central Sound of Chattanooga marching band plans to participate in UTC Band Day on October 22nd, and the concert band will be participating in the annual state Concert Festival in the Spring.
New Jazz Band Class Boasts of Over 30 Students
During the 2015-2016 school year, Band Director Joshua Bloodworth and Central’s former band director, Bobby Dugan, constructed a jazz band that had began practicing after school on Wednesdays. This school year, jazz band has been added as an actual class that includes over thirty students from all grade levels who are passionate about music.
“I was interested in jazz band because of the music itself. I was already in concert and marching band, so jazz band was another thing that I had to have on my schedule,” shared Rebekah Pell, sophomore member of the jazz band.
This new type of band opens up many more opportunities for the students that are a part of it. These young musicians have more opportunities to be in honor bands and to perform in a smaller, more intimate group. These extra rewards and opportunities do come with additional work. The students now have two groups to practice for, twice the songs to learn, and double the instrument care responsibilities. Luckily most jazz music is very well known, so the concept is not too difficult to grasp.
“Jazz band is more of a blues, funky type of music playing. You need a good rhythm section and lots of woodwinds, especially saxophones. The rhythms are harder and can be changed to fit the player. Concert band is more precise, and the music has to be played exactly how it is on the page,” added Josh Sizemore, junior and jazz band member.
Here at Central, we support all forms of art, therefore we are excited to see new opportunities for students to open their mind.