LARNED — The Larned High jazz band ‘Sun Riz” were “Crazy With the Blues,” creating a “Land of Make Believe,” during an entertaining Wednesday afternoon at the Farmers State Bank.
Those two selections treated the appreciative crowd to an afternoon of delightful sound. Seven saxophone players were complimented by two trumpets, a trombone, two drummers, percussion and piano, guitar and electric guitar.
The group, directed by Marc Webster, moved crisply smoothly through selections, creating a lively beat with “Salina,” “How High the Moon,” “Saturday in the Park,” “It Had to be You,” “Birdland,” “Hot Hot Hot,” and “Scat Cat.”
Larned High musicians were Steven Seltman and Jessica Johnson, Alto Sax; Sarah Liston, Maris Delgadillo and Abby Ayer, Tenor Sax; Gina Wray, Bari Sax; Kevin VonFeldt and Chase Penka, Trumpet; Michael Wysong, Trombone; Haley Roberts, Piano; Derik Trimmer, Electric Bass; Corey Hartman, Guitar; Bryce Gevara and Logan VanHorn, Drums; Ethan Banman, Percussion.
Sarah Langness was a guest player on the Alto Sax.
“Sun Riz” performs six or seven times a year. They are a hardy self-motivated group that practices on their free time at 7 a.m. twice a week during the school year.
Marc Webster, Larned director of bands, said the commitment shows how the jazz music inspires the students. They are dedicated musicians.
“I want to reach as many students as possible with jazz — so the more the merrier,” Webster said. “This is a non-audition group. There are usually anywhere from 12 to 16 in the group.”
Webster starts his mornings at 6 a.m. twice a week for his jazz students. They ease into the sound with some slow warm-ups and by 7:15, they are getting after the music and working really hard on it.
His hardest job is watching the clock to make sure the students are not tardy for their first class.
“It is easy to work the music hard with these students because they want to play really well,” Webster said. “Many times they want to just stay in the band room and keep playing right into first hour. I have to run them out of the room so they aren’t late to their first class.”