By Mark Ambrogi
The challenge of playing in the All-State Jazz Band was a bit daunting for Noblesville High School senior Zack Weiler at first.
Weiler, who plays baritone saxophone, said the music was given to the members two weeks before the Jan. 15 performance at the Embassy Theatre in Fort Wayne at the Indiana Music Educators Conference.
“It was a little overwhelming to be honest,” Weiler said. “It was a lot of difficult stuff, but we put that together on our own. Then when we were all done. Everybody had put together their part really well. That was awesome.”
Weiler was selected as one of the three saxophone performers for an All-State Jazz Combo for a free Indiana Bicentennial matinee concert at the Palladium on April 10. The only rehearsal will be April 9.
Weiler said it was a cool experience playing with other All-State Jazz Band members.
“Our Jazz One group (at NHS) are great too but to see the best of the best at All-State, it was real pleasure to play with them,” he said.
Weiler plans to continue his music education in college.
“I have a few auditions set up for a few schools (this month),” he said.
Weiler joined Jazz Band two years ago. Prior to that, he played classical music on saxophone.
“Now I spend half of the time on each,” Weiler said. “I haven’t lost my classical music. Jazz Band has been a big influence, too.
Weiler, who was in NHS marching band, also plays clarinet in the school’s Wind Ensemble.
“One hundred percent saxophone,” Weiler said of which is his favorite instrument. “I like the clarinet, but I don’t like it near as much as alto or baritone saxophone.”
NHS assistant band director Bethany Robinson served as coordinator for the Junior All-State Band and the All-State Band, made up of all high school students. Robinson said the students were selected by a blind auditions.
Noblesville West Middle School student Aidan Board (drums) and NHS freshman Trevor Zavac participated in the Junior All-State Band.