Yule Be Boppin’: Jazz band concert inspires, showcases next generation

Aleena Siddiqui '22, Page Editor

As the holiday season quickly approaches, South’s jazz bands annual concert, Yule Be Boppin’ is right around the corner.
According to band director Chirstopher Takis, the concert will take place in the South auditorium on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. and will feature both the Pierce Middle School jazz band and South’s jazz band.
“This concert has been an annual tradition for a couple of decades now,” Takis said. “Like we’ve done in the past, this year we will have some singers join us on stage.”
The jazz band practices for a total of three hours every week. On Mondays they practice from 6-8 p.m. and on Thursdays they practice from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Leading up to the concert, Takis says rehearsal schedules don’t change..
“We don’t rehearse more than usual leading up to the concert because we know we have a certain time frame,” Takis said. “We know we have “x” amount of time to learn the songs and I make sure to pick pieces that are realistic to learn.”
South’s jazz band has a large set to perform. According to Takis, the band will play six different songs during this year’s Yule Be Boppin’ concert.
“This concert is exclusively holiday music,” Takis said. “I like to pick different things every year, not just straight-up Christmas carols but pieces from different movies if they have a holiday theme to it.”
Electric bass player Abe Neds-Fox ’22 enjoys the low-stress aspect of this concert.
“It’s nice because I don’t really feel the need to practice that much outside of rehearsal time,” Neds-Fox said. “One of the songs, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, I have been practicing outside a little because it’s probably the most difficult level piece.”
Takis agrees the Yule Be Boppin’ concert gives both performers and the audience an enjoyable evening.
“In a typical band or orchestra concert, there are rules, there is ‘concert etiquette,’” Takis said. “This concert still has etiquette but it’s just a little bit more fun. There is pop music with a little bit more of a flavor to it.”
Bass trombone player Ethan Schenk ’20 likes that the whole concert showcases the jazz band.
“It’s not an incredibly long concert, so a lot of people who wouldn’t normally go to a concert will go watch this one because it’s pretty short and it’s just about the jazz band,” Schenk said.
After all the work Takis puts into the concert with both the South and Pierce jazz bands, he thinks it’s important for the middle schoolers to see what the high school kids are doing, especially in a relaxed setting.
“This concert is a chance for the middle schoolers to get to see what they could be doing as they approach high school,” Takis said. “This is a fun, little bit looser, more relaxing evening compared to some of the other performances we do.”