the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

“Jazz for Springtime” enlivens the PAC with Jason Burce

Jazz Band performed songs spanning different eras with a couple of guest appearances on April 25.
Elsa Qin
Jazz Band senior Ken Atsawaamnuaychai plays the song “TMI” by Ralph Ford as a part of the rhytym section. “For my role I have to keep time and keep the groove [of the song],” Atsawaamnuaychai said. “It was fun to get to play in this concert and it was our last concert for the year and my last concert for my high school career.”

Facing the music isn’t usually a good thing, but for woodwind coach Jason Burce, seeing cutouts of his face made by supportive students in the crowd at Jazz Band’s “Jazz for Springtime” concert was an entirely positive experience.

Burce is a Southern California based multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter and a featured guest at this concert, Burce has worked with many artists throughout his career, including Iam Tongi, Common Kings and The Black Eyed Peas. This year was Burce’s first opportunity to work with students on campus and perform with them during concerts.

“It’s been great. It’s really cool just to see how eager and receptive the students are,” Burce said. “Leading up to the rehearsals, I’ll take each section and coach them individually then have everyone play together. We use tutorial and lunch to get extra practice in.”

Throughout the performance, different groups took the stage to perform songs. Intermediate Jazz took the stage first, followed by a guitar duo of acoustic guitar players senior Nathan Soo and junior Bruce Kha. Jazz Combo then performed “Atchafalaya” by Michael League, arranged by horn player  senior Kyle Kim, followed by Advanced Jazz. The production was concluded by a performance from every musician who is part of the WHS jazz program. AJ Culpepper also made a guest appearance in the song “Just the Two of Us,” dueting alongside Burce.

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“As the last jazz concert of the year, it was a good concert overall, with the great solos of Mr. Burce and other players. The song selection was strong with a lot of fun songs to play for both advanced and intermediate [musicians],” trombone player junior Dylan Thai said.

At the end of the concert, Burce gave a speech reflecting on his experiences teaching throughout the past year and spending time with students.

“Mr. Burce has been a major help throughout the year, from marching band season to jazz season. During jazz [season], he would act as a secondary director, helping [band director] Corey Wicks with the band and listening to us [while] giving critiques,” Thai said.

After the speech, the students surprised Burce with a present to thank him for all he had done. Burce received a pair of Jordan 1 Retro Low OG Atmosphere Grey shoes as well as a Snoopy-themed hat with the words “Joe Cool” plastered on the front.

“I was not expecting any gifts. Personally, I thought the gifts were meant for Mr. Wicks,” Burce said. “I’ve said this before: What brings me joy is to see the growth and [the students’] willingness and their ability to absorb [information] and to be receptive to what I have to say. It’s been a great year looking back.”

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About the Contributor
Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee, Arts editor and Advertising
Hi my name is Daniel Lee, I'm in the 11th grade, and I'm the Arts editor and Advertising for The Hoofprint. Outside of The Hoofprint, I am on the boy's tennis team. In my free time I enjoy listening to music.
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