The Woods Cross High Jazz Ensemble and Synthesis, BYU's jazz ensemble, will be finding their own song in a joint concert on March 2 at 7 p.m. at Woods Cross High. Though Synthesis will be performing the bulk of the concert, the WXHS ensemble will perform a few numbers and join them on stage for a joint song.
The best part is, they don’t know what the song is yet.
“We’ll put it together that night,” said Todd Campbell, head of the WXHS jazz ensemble. “That’s what’s so great about jazz.”
Synthesis, which has won awards and performed in jazz festivals all over the world, will sometimes contact high schools around the state in order to discuss possible concerts.
When they contacted Campbell, he immediately said yes.
“They’re one of the top college bands in the country, in my opinion,” he said. “They don’t just ask anybody.”
Synthesis combines swing, blues, jazz, Latin, and fusion styles in their music, honoring the impromptu spirit of jazz.
“Jazz is America’s own music, and probably some of the most spontaneous music there is,” said Campbell, explaining that soloists are expected to improv during a concert. “That means they’re composing in real time, right on the spot.”
That kind of on-the-fly composition, however, requires practice. To help, Synthesis will also be coming by earlier in the day to do a jazz clinic with the WX ensemble.
“The kids are excited,” he said. “They know this is a pretty big opportunity.”
In Campbell’s opinion, the clinic may almost be more important to the students than the concert will be.
“One of the best ways to learn is by sitting next to someone and playing along with them,” he said. “You can’t manufacture that kind of experience, and the kids are usually pretty inspired by that.”
Student tickets are $5, adult tickets are $7, and family tickets are $25. They can be purchased either at the Woods Cross High office or at the door the night of the concert. For more information, please call 801-402-4500.