CHESAPEAKE CITY — For the first time since the pandemic, the sound of classic jazz filled the Bohemia Manor High School Auditorium as the All-County Jazz Band performed on Nov. 18.

“Music was gone for so long, just seeing them up there enjoying themselves and performing challenging music and being successful at it, and the enjoyment in the audiences faces as they were playing made it all worth it for me,” Cecil County Public Schools Fine Arts Coordinator David Hastings said.

The students played four different songs, including three standards, “Moanin,’” most famously recorded by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, “Cry Me a River,” featuring vocals by Rising Sun High School student Rhiannon Betts, and “Groove Merchant,” by Jerome Richardson. The band also honored the upcoming holidays with “The First Funky Noel.”

Hastings said the Jazz band only had three rehearsals before the Nov. 18 concert.

“They kicked off the rust off very quick,” Hastings said. “They were eager to learn the material.”

Hastings said all the schools will have the usual winter concerts. All-County chorus had a show on Nov. 2, with All-County Orchestra concert set. for the end of Feb. and the All-County Band planned for April.

“It’s safe to say that live performances are back,” Hastings said.

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