Group Chat: Honor Jazz Band Players

Seniors Morgan Siders and Cody Ayres discuss our Thursday’s competition and the love of jazz music

Brandon Coon, Adviser

Last night, Frederick High hosted the Northeastern Colorado Combined League Jazz Band. Student instrumentalists from eight different middle schools and thirteen high schools convened for a full-day workshops and rehearsals with professional musicians. We caught up with senior jazz members Morgan Siders and Cody Ayres during a break in the action to find out more about this annual event.


FREDERICK SCOUT: Hey guys! So what exactly is Combined League Jazz Band?

MORGAN SIDERS: We’re combining with the other jazz bands from all over Northern Colorado. They’re from up in Fort Collins, Boulder…

CODY AYRES: The whole I-70 corridor area…

MS: Yeah, and we just spent the whole day chilling and jamming with everybody and these professionals that are known for jazz in the area play with us and work with us to be better. It’s like if there were a Regionals for just jazz.

SCOUT: So how many people are here?

CA: I don’t know, we could count the program. (laughs) We’ve got four different jazz bands–

MS: And, like, twenty people per band.

CA: Right, so that’s like–eighty?

MS: Yeah, eighty sounds right.

CA: And only two from Frederick.

SCOUT: Why are so few Frederick students here if we host it?

MS: It’s the audition process. We submitted [audition recordings] back in September for this. A lot of Frederick kids submitted, but only we got in.

CA: The competition’s getting bigger more schools hearing about it… It’s like the Pro Bowl of jazz.

SCOUT: How long has this been going on?

MS: We’ve hosted this for… five years?

CA: Seven.

MS: Mr. Thomas and Ms. Meyer from Coal Ridge started it because, you know, there are so many different band competitions like District Honor Band and Combined League Honor Band, but nothing really for jazz–

CA: Before this, all we had was All State for jazz pieces.

SCOUT: What makes jazz so special then?

MS: Jazz is a dying language, so we need [events like] this to show why it’s so important.

CA: Absolutely. It’s so different from just regular band pieces.

MS: ​Yeah, it’s a whole ‘nother art from that allows you to really express yourself in ways that other playing wouldn’t let you. It’s beautiful and we need it.

Missed the concert? Catch Frederick’s musicians at the Winter Band Concert on December 10, the Winter Orchestra Concert on December 11, and the Winter Jazz Concert on December 16.