By Bunnard Phan
One of the school’s 11-member jazz ensembles performed at St. Mark’s annual Cutler Festival on April 21 alongside musical groups from St. Mark’s and Canton High School, presenting three selections to a diverse crowd— “Dizzy Moods,” by Charlie Mingus, “Line for Lyons,” by Gerry Mulligan, and “Four on Six,” by Wes Montgomery.
According to St. Mark’s Jazz Director Steve Fell, the hour-long festival celebrated student musical talent in commemoration of St. Mark’s alumnus Tim Cutler ’89, who died in a car accident.
“The Cutler Festival is a chance to feature students playing jazz, pop, and more,” Mr. Fell said. “I see it as an opportunity to bring young people together, share ideas, and celebrate young people playing music.”
“It’s great how St. Mark’s has invited BB&N’s orchestra, chorale, and jazz bands in the past and now,” said BB&N Jazz Director Pandelis Karayorgis, who received a personal invitation from Mr. Fell, his colleague, to perform. “They have a wonderful concert space on their campus, and I really appreciate the opportunity they give us to share our work.”
This event marked BB&N’s second performance at St. Mark’s. Pianist Adon Wade-Currie ’15 said he cherished the opportunity.
“The jazz band does not play many performances at BB&N, let alone at other schools, so I think having this chance was important,” Adon said. “The jazz program should offer more performance opportunities because that’s a large part of being a musician.”
Mr. Karayorgis agreed.
“It’s a great morale booster for our groups to venture outside the school,” he said. “They gain a better perspective of the work we do here by comparing it to that of similar ensembles at other schools. They can make all kinds of connections and comparisons that ultimately help them better understand their own work and evolution as musicians.”