Category Archives: Music

Young men in the news

Couple of recent nice articles about young men from Medfield, Matthew Aucoin on his music in the Wall Street Journal, and Gehrig Schilling on his baseball in the Globe West Weekly (searches just now at produced no returns for that one) -

MHS Jazz Band – listen live Sat. at 10 AM

From Chris McCue Potts -

The Medfield HS Jazz Band performs in the Essentially Ellington competition at Lincoln Center at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 10, and a live stream of Medfield’s performance (as well as other aspects of the three-day festival) is available. Just click on this link: Medfield is the first to perform Saturday morning, so be sure to tune in just before 10 a.m. The jazz band was just one of 15 selected from across North America to participate in Essentially Ellington.



Catch some Jazz ‘Round Town tomorrow

This from the Chris McCue of the Medfield Music Association  -

Catch some Jazz ‘Round Town tomorrow

The Medfield High School Jazz Band is one of just 15 bands chosen from across North America to compete in the Essentially Ellington competition at Lincoln Center next month. If you missed the recent Jazz Night, you can catch smaller performances by members of the jazz band as they play around town tomorrow, April 12, to raise money for their trip. Just listen for the music, and look for the Duke Ellington-style top hats being used to collect donations as part of the “Dollars for Duke” campaign.

Our local businesses have been tremendously supportive of the MHS Jazz Band in many ways, and four will be hosting small jazz ensemble at their sites. Here is the schedule:

Blue Moon and Needham Bank – 9:30 to 11 a.m.;

Lovell’s – 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and

Starbucks – 2 to 3:30 p.m.


At Blue Moon, “guest artist” Tim Borchers will be joining the ensemble after winning the slot at a Jazz Night drawing!


In addition, Needham Bank is allowing community members to make donations to the trip via its coin machine all week long. If you have spare change you’d like to get rid of, this is a great use for it!  The bank will also donate $100 to the Jazz Band for anyone who opens up a checking account on Saturday.


At Lovell’s, the MMA is hosting a bake sale, and 10% of Accents purchases the entire weekend will go toward the Jazz Band trip.

China trip

From Chris McCue Potts -

China bound: a trip like no other

Photos (3)

If you’re a parent going away for April vacation, packing up the entire family might seem like a big headache. Imagine if you were going half-way across the world with 22 musicians and their instruments?

The Medfield High School Jazz Band is getting ready for its big trip to China, and Music Director Doug Olsen takes one look at his to-do list and simply says, “It’s overwhelming. We’ve never taken a music trip of this magnitude.”

Besides the usual luggage and carry-on bags, the China packing list includes 23 Passports and Visas, binders of sheet music for performances in Bengbu, Beijing and Shanghai, plus an array of instruments of all shapes, sizes (and sounds), including trumpets, trombones, saxophones, cymbals, vibes and a guitar, as well as music stands. To Olsen’s relief, a piano, drums, and additional instruments will be provided in China for the band.

Ten years ago, the Roosevelt High School Jazz Band out of Seattle, made a similar trip to China and had to ship its largest instruments overseas, including piano and upright bass, only to find them quarantined for four days. Olsen has been talking to other band directors who have made the journey to China to gain a better idea how to prepare for the trip and what to expect.

“With all of our stuff, I have a feeling we’ll make quite a scene when we collect our baggage in China,” said Olsen, who’s been spending a lot of his time Skyping with his counterparts on the other side of the world, fielding calls from parents with a long list of questions, and with Superintendent Bob Maguire and EF Tours to figure out logistics, including buses between cities, dining options, and sightseeing ideas for the limited free time the band will have.

But even before leaving its beloved USA, the Jazz Band has had the chance to immerse itself in Asian-inspired jazz music in practice sessions and performances with modern jazz composer/conductor Alan Chan, and renowned Chinese composer and erhu musician Yang Ying, who has created a piece for the Jazz Band to perform at the high-profile Chinese Language Conference in Boston on Sunday, April 7, as well as on tour in China. (You can learn about Ying and the commissioned Medfield piece on her Website.)  Chan will also be meeting up with the Jazz Band in Shanghai to conduct a performance there.

Despite the enormous task of preparing for the Jazz Band’s inaugural overseas music trip, there’s one thing Olsen doesn’t have to worry about: paying the bills. Thanks to a successful fundraising campaign by the Medfield Music Association, Jazz Band families and band members, $25,000 was raised for financial aid, instrument and performance expenses, and other music-tour costs. Jazz Band families are paying their own share of the trip expenses too.

Once spending money is in hand, the bus is fully loaded with luggage and instruments, and chaperones are on board directing the show, the Medfield High School Jazz Band will be set for the trip of a lifetime.

And while parents may be forced to wave their sons and daughters goodbye from the Medfield High School parking lot in the early morning hours of April 12, they’ll be able to follow the trip through Doug Olsen’s Twitter feeds (MusicMedfield). The Medfield community is invited to follow along too.

On April 26, just five days after the band returns from China, Jazz Night attendees will not only have the chance to hear great music, but they’ll also hear first-hand about the China trip from the new International Medfield High School Jazz Band! For event information, click here.

Want to see what’s on the Jazz Band packing list? Take a look:

21 music stands

22 binders of sheet music

6 saxophones

4 trombones

5 trumpets

2 clarinets

2 flutes

6 cymbals

1 cowbell

2 claves

1 conga drum

1 vibraphone set with special case

10 drum sticks

1 guitar

1 electric bass

1 repair kit

1 tuner

45 “China Tour” t-shirts (check out the design)

23 passports & VISAs

23 sets of luggage

23 carry-on bags

23 packages of assorted gifts for host families and school partners, including Hershey Chocolate, a huge hit!

MHS Jazz Band at Lord’s

From Chirs McCue Potts -

For years, Lord’s has generously sold tickets to high school music performances, plays, Trolley Tours and other community events.

As a thank you to Lord’s, and as a way to provide some musical therapy to its owners and loyal customers, members of the MHS Jazz Band will be performing at the store from Noon to 1 p.m., tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 12.

Tickets will also be on sale for the Jazz Band’s Feb. 2 “Jazzin’ for China” fundraising event at The Center at Medfield. This is the last community event that Lord’s is selling tickets to before it closes. Individual tickets are $50; $5 discount available per ticket when purchased as a table. For more information:

Please stop into Lord’s tomorrow, and express your own appreciation for the support the Kelly family and Lord’s staff has provided to our local community groups over the years.

MHS Jazz Band’s brochure

The Medfield High School Jazz Band, 2012-2013 edition, has a really cool, high quality brochure.

I got my copy from Chris McCue Potts at last night’s Blake Middle School concert, so I could pass it along to Representative Denise Garlick last night.  Chris is trying to get Governor Patrick to name the MHS Jazz Band as the “Honorary Massachusetts High School Jazz Band” for its spring trip to China.  Great idea.