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  • Mr. Garrett Stannard

'19 - October 14th

Monday Night Parent Meeting - Jazz Fest Planning

October 14th, Monday - Parent Planning and Discussion (6-7:30pm)

October 30th, Wednesday - Parent Implementation and Discussion Meeting (6-7:30pm)

Gateway City Big Band - Makes the Cover of the Enterprise -

Hey Jazz Fans,

Great news to share! Livingston's Community Big Band made the cover of Thursday's paper. Thank-you to the Enterprise for their continued support of the Arts and Arts Education!


Check out our first performance Nov 7th for the Livingston Jazz Festival

Park High School Director of Bands Garrett Stannard conducts the second rehearsal of the new Gateway City Big Band Tuesday at the high school.

ALL THAT JAZZ - Published on Thu, 10/10/2019 - 12:03am

Park High band director assembles community band of pros and beginners who love jazz

This is the second rehearsal for Gateway City Big Band, a group of about 20 community musicians made up of young and old, seasoned veterans and the uninitiated. Mostly locals, some come from as far away as Wilsall and Big Timber to play jazz together.

“I just love music. That’s it,” Stannard said. “I’m lucky enough to have found a community that loves it.”

The idea of community is one that comes up often when talking to members of Gateway City Big Band. “I was really pleased with the sound right from the beginning,” said John Novotny, a saxophonist and former Sweet Grass County High School band director. “It’s just fun to play with these people; it’s nice.”

The band is readying about a dozen songs for performances during the Livingston Jazz Festival on Nov. 7, 8 and 9.

Austin Clements graduated from Park High in 2017 and said he had not touched his trombone since, that is until he answered Stannard’s call.

“I try to play music as much as possible,” said Clements, who moonlights as the drummer of a local punk rock outfit. “I don’t want to sit at home all winter.” He said the wide variety in ages is something he appreciates about the band. Some of the older, road-hardened performers spent a brief portion of Tuesday’s rehearsal discussing the pros and cons of secondary education for musicians with their younger counterparts.

“This is basically recleague soccer for jazz,” Park High School Director of Bands Garrett Stannard told the group of mostly adult musicians Tuesday night before they returned a playful volley of 16th notes.

It is an atmosphere of professionalism and collaboration that Stannard was hoping for when he first envisioned a community band.

Playing in the Gateway Big Band are, from front to back, John Morford on bass, Finn Sexton on drums, Alison Shannon-Lier and her son Emmett Shannon-Lier, 8, both playing percussion instruments.

“Many people have been transplanted here with these skills and abilities. Some of the talent here is homegrown,” Stannard said. “So this is bridging a lot of gaps. It’s kind of a hub, so to speak.”

While most of the band members have plenty of performance experience under their belts, some, like Ellen Winter, are less experienced.

She said she drug around her tenor sax for about 30 years after college and only just started playing again when her daughter joined Stannard’s high school band.

“At first I was a little nervous, but it’s a friendly atmosphere,” Winter said. “I love playing jazz and having a chance to play jazz with other people is even better.”

According to Stannard, he is selecting pieces of music that are challenging for the professionals but not so challenging as to drive away the less experienced musicians in the group.

“I’m picking tunes that will keep people coming back,” he said.

Stannard said he has already been asked if the band is available to play private parties, but he would like to keep it simple this first go-round.

“Let’s just see if this works once,” he said, adding that in addition to a yearly fall performance, he is hoping to organize a spring performance that could also become a yearly occurrence.

The key, he said, is having fun.

“None of us are getting paid,” Stannard said. “We might as well have fun with it.”

Nolan Lister — Enterprise Staff Writer Enterprise photos by Nate Howard

In Case You Missed It

Our second and final marching band performance from last weekend's Showcase of Bands


Jazz Rehearsal Schedule

Week of October 14

Monday - Jazz Ensemble Tuesday - Rep Jazz Wednesday - Jazz Ensemble & Rep Jazz Thursday - No School Friday - No School


Week of October 21

Monday - Jazz Ensemble Tuesday - Rep Jazz Wednesday - Jazz Ensemble Thursday - Rep Jazz & Jazz Ensemble Friday - Rep Jazz

Upcoming Events

October

  • 14 // Jazz Fest - Parent Discussion & Planning Meeting (6-7:30pm)

  • 21 // Football - Pep Band - (4:30pm - 7pm) est. dismissal

  • 26 // Volleyball - Pep Band - (3:40pm - 5:30pm) est. dismissal

  • 30 // Jazz Fest - Parent Implementation & Discussion Meeting (6-7:30pm)

November

  • 2 // Volleyball - Pep Band - (6:40pm - 8:30pm) est. dismissal

  • 7 // Liv Jazz Fest - Gateway City Big Band (non PHS student performance) 6:30pm - 9pm

  • 8 // Liv Jazz Fest - Rep Jazz and Jazz Ens. Performance - AM and PM performances

  • 9 // Liv Jazz Fest - Jazz Ens. Performance - 7:00pm performance

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