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    BHS Jazz Ensemble/Rithum Machine (Honor level)

     
    Course Description:
     The BHS Jazz Ensemble jazz big band and Rithum Machine jazz big band is open to all 9-12 grade musicians who play trumpet, trombone/baritone/tuba, saxophone (flute or clarinets may audition, but will be expected to learn saxophone), piano, drumset, vibraphone, latin percussion, bass (acoustic and electric), and guitar.  There are approximately 18-20 musicians in each group and the number of musicians on each instrument will be determined by those students who audition the previous spring.  Audition material is available in mid-April the spring prior to the school year from the high school band director.  Auditions generally take place in early May for the following school year.  The Jazz Ensemble is the less experienced jazz band at BHS, normally comprised of younger players.  "Rithum Machine" is generally comprised of more experienced jazz players.  The Jazz Ensemble is required to perform at three school jazz concerts throughout the year, as well as one or two jazz festivals off campus, while Rithum Machine performs at three or four jazz festivals locally throughout the year, three BHS jazz concerts, local jazz clubs, some out of state touring, and area special performances.  Jazz Ensemble members are not required to be in a large band ensemble, but Rithum Machine trumpet, trombone, and saxophone players are required to be members of either the BHS concert or symphonic band.  Final exams consist of transcribing a jazz improvised solo of the players' choice for class performance, and members of both bands are required to attend at least one live jazz performance each semester.  Music that will be learned and performed will be jazz big band music including blues, swing, latin (various styles), funk , rock, ballads, and contemporary styles.  Student-directed combos are encouraged with rehearsals and performances scheduled after school, at BHS concerts, and local jazz festivals.
     
    Enduring Understandings:
    1)  Artists communicate sensibility and meaning through visual and performing arts.
    2)  Artists manipulate their medium to construct meaning.
    3)  An artist's ability to listen and interpret affects his or her ability to understand the art form.
    4)  A level of proficiency is necessary to communicate an artist's intent.
    5)  An artist's use of skills and techniques is a continual, repetitive learning process.
    6)  Artists present finished products or performance.
    7)  The critique process can lead to heightened awareness of aesthetics.
    8)  Critiques promote the use of art vocabulary.
    9)  The critique process is a valuable analysis of what takes place intuitively.

    Essential Questions:
    1)  How do form, content and context express and influence meaning?
    (Assessment Prompt:  Support with evidence how form, content and context express and influence meaning.)
    2)  How do ELEMENTS AND PRINCIPLES function in facilitating the creative process?
    3)  How do we use critique to inform our art?
     
    Course Academic Vocabulary:
    1)  Reading and interpreting written music and musical terms
    2)  Performance of music in large and small group form.
    3)  Critique of rehearsal and performance (student - based, teacher-based) 
    4)  Listening, transcribing, and performing jazz improved solos.
     
    Course Units / Topics of Study:
    Jazz Ensemble - Grade II - IV jazz big band music in swing, latin, funk, rock, and ballad styles.  Improvising over standard and non- standard chord changes, learning chord scales and analyzing chord changes, listening and transcribing improvised solos, live performance.
     
    Rithum Machine - Grade III-VI jazz big band music in swing, latin, funk, rock, and ballad styles.  Improvising over standard and non-standard chord changes, learning chord scales and analyzing chord changes, listening and transcribing improvised solos, live performance in large and small group settings.